Friday, 10 July 2009

Lansley questions Labour's handling of swine flu

Andrew Lansley has questioned the effectiveness of Labour’s containment strategy for swine flu after it was revealed that surprisingly few anti-virals have been given out.

New information released in response to a Parliamentary Question shows that for 7,447 swine flu cases, only 6,138 courses of anti-virals were distributed.

Although there would have been some cases that were diagnosed too late for anti-virals to be effective, this would have been outweighed by the fact that anti-virals would also have been given to people with suspected - not just confirmed - swine flu.

In addition, anti-virals should have been given to anyone who had been in close contact with a swine flu victim. However, just 10,363 courses of anti-virals have been given out to contacts of people with swine flu – which is fewer than two confirmed contacts of each swine flu victim.

Andrew, the Shadow Health Secretary, said the Conservatives had supported the Government’s containment strategy, but stressed he would have expected all confirmed and suspected victims of swine flu to be given anti-virals, as well as anyone who had been in contact with them.

He described the anti-viral figures as “worrying” and stressed, “(They)suggest that the Government’s containment strategy was not anything like as effective as it should have been.”

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