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Bird flu bigger threat than swine flu

Bird flu bigger threat than swine flu article image

A World Health Organisation consultant has said bird flu is still a bigger threat than swine flu, despite recent worldwide concern surrounding the latter. Doctor Alan Hampson, who chairs Australia's influenza specialist group, says bird flu is a bigger concern: "It is still there, it is still infecting people, it is still potentially quite a severe threat. I think that virus, if it did get into the human population, would be far more severe than the virus that we're currently seeing spreading." Eighteen countries have confirmed almost 900 cases of swine flu. The virus' presence in Australia has not been confirmed yet, although tests were carried out on an eight-month-old baby in Tasmania whose family had returned from Canada last week. The baby was in childcare during the virus' incubation period, which may affect other children and the centre's staff. "As a standard precaution we are advising that any child or staff member who is unwell with a fever and respiratory symptoms should be excluded from attendance until they have fully recovered," said Tasmanian Director of Public Health, Chrissie Pickin.

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