Leading article: Better safe than sorry

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Whatever happened to the swine flu pandemic? Instead of the rapidly mounting "second wave" we were warned of three weeks ago, the disease is now said to in a "slow burn", whose peak may turn out to be lower than previously thought. Critics who accused the Government months ago of crying wolf will be rubbing their hands in anticipation of being proved right. Don't be fooled by them.

A completely novel flu virus with the capacity to spread from human to human, such as the H1N1 swine flu, is seen only once in a generation and is a potentially serious threat. Governments around the world have made preparations to deal with it. They were right to do so. Swine flu may yet strike hard this winter or next. But even if it turns out to be no worse than seasonal flu, it would have been irresponsible to have ignored it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it is foresight that takes care, commitment – and courage.

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