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Australian Businesses Prepare for Outbreak of Bird Flu

ol being closed. As immunologist Ron Penny said," There's no strong recommendation that people who have a seriously infectious disease should stay at home.I think we need to educate people".

Federal Government advisers have warn that economically, Queensland would be the hardest hit of any Australian state with even a modest level pandemic causing a loss of about $11 billion, off the Gross State Product (GSP) in the first year alone.

International health experts predict bird flu has a 10 per cent chance of turning into a pandemic this financial year.

According to Telstra's network services managing director Michael Lawrey preparations for the likelihood of a pandemic were slightly higher in intensity than planning for other business risks such as fires, cyclones and floods.

Sydney-based company Good Health Solutions has estimated the cost of protecting a staff of 1000 against the possibility of a bird flu pandemic at about $92,000.

Businesses such as big retailers would probably be required to spend several millions if they decided to stockpile enough face masks and other protective gear to protect staff for three months.


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