A leading Birmingham councillor last night reassured residents that plans were being drawn up to combat a potential outbreak of bird flu which could claim more than 50,000 lives a week in the city.
Coun Deirdre Alden, chairwoman of the council's health overview and scrutiny committee, told a meeting of all council-lors that measures were being put in place to fight a potential pandemic.
However, she criticised the Government for not providing enough anti-viral drugs, such as tamiflu.
Coun Alden (Con Edgbaston) said: "Local residents can be reassured that Birmingham City Council and local health experts are formulating plans to deal with a flu outbreak."
Figures presented to the committee by Dr Roger Gajraj, consultant in communicable disease control at the Birmingham and Solihull Health Protection Unit, showed that if a flu pandemic hit the city 250,000 people could be affected. Between 360 and 12,010 people could die, although Dr Gajraj said 900 was the most realistic estimate.