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London 2012 Olympics could increase risk of flu pandemic, warns report

Published on 03/04/2012

A new report has warned that the London Olympics 2012 will increase the risk of a flu pandemic in the UK. However, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) disagrees, saying the risk is low.

Analyst Maplecroft has released a report rating five countries at the ‘extreme’ level of risk for the pandemic spread of flu. Britain has been placed only second to Singapore for the speed at which flu could spread.

The report also warned that the London 2012 Olympics would increase the danger of influenza spreading, because of the additional 5.3 million tourists excepted to visit the UK over the summer.

However, Maplecroft also ranked Britain within the top 10 countries best placed to deal with any influenza outbreak.

The HPA has disagreed with the report, stating that whilst the UK has to be careful about new diseases coming in, it does not mean we are high risk. Dr Brian McCloskey from the HPA told the BBC: "We have done our own review and we don't believe that there is a risk."

"We have sporting events and music festivals all around England and we had the swine flu pandemic at Glastonbury. We also looked at research from the Vancouver Games - neither produced any significant problems."

The Department of Health has also said that the NHS has plans in place to deal with any eventuality. An advanced surveillance system will be used to collect data from hospitals and the internet to track unusual conditions in real-time. No additional health precautions will be recommended by the HPA.

In January a series of reports, in The Lancet Infectious Disease journal, highlighted the risks of mass gatherings, such as London 2012 Olympics.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Health
London 2012 Olympics could increase risk of flu pandemic, warns reportA new report has warned that the London Olympics 2012 will increase the risk of a flu pandemic in the UK. However, the Health Protection Age    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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