A bird flu tsar will be appointed for Scotland for coordinating efforts when an epidemic breaks out. The senior health official who will be responsible for giving his expert advice will be paid £50,000 annually.
Experts are of the opinion that the virus can mutate to spread rapidly among human beings. The exact number of applications received for the post has not been revealed. The person appointed will dedicate himself solely to a bird flu pandemic. He will also be responsible for acquiring vaccines for the H5N1 bird flu strain. The business houses of the country will also be affected with absenteeism of up to 60% if a flu pandemic breaks out.
Detailed plans have to be charted to ensure that the food supplies and the transport sector are not disrupted during such an event. As much as 25% of the country's population is expected to be affected by a possible pandemic. The UK along with France is reported to be in the forefront with regard to preparations for such an emergency, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Doctors across the UK are being provided with online training through Doctors. net.uk with regard to handling the flu. Detailed plans which include the police force, schools, hospitals, shops, and the transport sector are being drawn up. As at present the Tamiflu is the only known cure for it, even though it is reported to be responsible for liver failure.
The Oxford University's Dr Jeremy Farrar is however of the opinion that fears with regard to the pandemic are exaggerated. The virus may in itself have some inherent weaknesses, according to him.