Ready for pandemic

New Zealand is better prepared for an influenza pandemic, health officials say. Feedback from a nationwide, week-long drill last month to check systems for dealing with a pandemic, had been mostly favourable, national pandemic planning co-ordinator Steve Brazier said.

The exercise tested border control, quarantine and hospital plans, disease containment, drug distribution, and how centres to deal with sick people would be set up.

Threats of a potential pandemic linked to bird flu emerged in 2004. However, bird flu has not been found here, and the pandemic alert is at its lowest level.

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