Sunday, 26 July 2009

Minister: flu panic is danger to NHS

Ed: Told you so (and here).

Ministers moved to quell swine flu hysteria last night, as concerns grew that the National Health Service might be overwhelmed by hordes of "unnecessarily anxious" people who could make a full recovery at home.

Amid rising government worry about how NHS staff will cope as the virus spreads, health secretary Andy Burnham warned that panic itself could push services to breaking point. Health Department officials said there was a danger of a "panic pandemic" that could hinder the treatment of more serious cases.

Calling for calm, Burnham said that although swine flu presented a huge challenge for the country, it was not a life-threatening condition for the vast majority of people.

He told the Observer that it was vital not to over-react and claimed the government had the situation under control. "It is very important for everybody to keep a sense of perspective," he said. "It has been a mild virus in the vast majority of cases, with relatively mild symptoms from which people recover fully fairly quickly. Read more
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