Flu panic hits London

Published: Friday 30 April 1999

a strain of influenza, originating from Sydney in Australia, is being blamed for causing chaos in London's health care system. The Sydney flu bug has been sweeping southern parts of Britain after initially being found in the British Midlands and the north of the country. The bout of influenza has claimed several lives and has kept thousands of Britons away from work for several days.

Health experts said the virus was responsible for delaying the return to work of thousands of people in the two areas after 45,000 people were confined to bed during the holiday season. The bug sparked chaos in London's ambulance and hospital service as victims made thousands of calls for help on the emergency services telephone numbers.

In a front-page article, the daily Evening News, reported, "Doctors fear the situation will get worse as the Sydney flu bug, which can last up to 10 days, continues to sweep the entire country." A British hospital said it had been forced to hire a refrigerated trailer to store bodies because its morgue was overflowing with the victims of the flu epidemic.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.