World leaders are ignoring the threat of an influenza pandemic that could infect a billion people and reach New Zealand within hours of an outbreak, scientists warn.
International experts have outlined a disastrous scenario if the threat from the virulent H5N1 strain of Asian bird flu is not taken seriously.
The flu, which first surfaced in poultry in Hong Kong and China eight years ago, has killed 37 people in Vietnam, 12 in Thailand and four in Cambodia. A new outbreak has been reported in China.
Global health officials fear it may mutate into a lethal strain that could rival the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that killed between 20 million and 40 million people.
Ref. Source 3k