Primary care trusts are to set up anti-viral drug distribution centres and swine flu testing clinics amid fears that the infection could spread out of control.
[efoods]The Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, wrote to health authorities last week urging hospitals to test all patients who show signs of flu-like symptoms. He wrote: “Transmission from person to person in this country is increasingly common. There is evidence that sporadic cases are arising with no apparent link either to cases elsewhere in the UK or to travel abroad.”
The letter followed an earlier warning from Sir Liam that millions of Britons could fall victim to swine flu in the coming months. Government officials admitted last night that illness rates from the virus could reach 50 per cent.
Primary care trusts are now being briefed to expect that the pandemic could affect as much as 40 per cent of the workforce before the end of the year, with many worried that there could be a surge of cases in the autumn, according to health industry sources.