Britain has been warned it could face another Covid-style lockdown when a new killer virus sweeping Europe reaches the UK.
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) – which kills between 10–40% of people infected – has been identified as a major threat to public health.
The World Health Organisation says the virus – which kills 500 people every year – is mainly transmitted to people from ticks and livestock animals.
But human-to-human transmission can occur and the disease, which is endemic and has recently killed people in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia, is now sweeping through Europe with up to three billion people now ‘at risk’.
There is no vaccine.
Professor James Wood, who spoke to Parliament’s Science, Innovation and Technology Committee last week, said: “It’s when rather than if [the disease reached the UK].
“I think all in all likelihood. There is a risk of spread given the way that diseases emerging.”
But he denied a national lockdown would be a sensible way to deal with the arrival of the virus in the UK.