A future influenza pandemic could kill millions of people the World Health Organisation has warned – a century on from the Spanish flu outbreak which did just that. The NHS has been struggling to cope with the added burden posed by this winter’s Australian flu outbreak, and other countries, including the United States, France and China are facing similar problems as a WHO spokesman said worse could be around the corner.

He said: “In North America Influenza-like Illness (ILI) levels are similar to those seen in 2014-2015 season, which was the most severe season in recent years, and influenza A (H3N2) is the main circulating virus. “In some Western European countries, hospitalization rates have already reached high levels. It is difficult to predict when the influenza activity will peak or if it has already peaked.” To further complicate matters, different strains of the virus were impacting in different countries, he explained. READ MORE