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AUSTRALIA has been too slow to respond to the swine flu outbreak in America, which has the potential to spiral into a pandemic, Greens leader Bob Brown says.

A new flu feared to have killed up to 81 people in Mexico has “pandemic potential”, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned today, as concerns grow of the virus spreading in the US and worldwide.

Australian Greens leader Bob Brown says the government knew of the threat on Saturday but only issued a health alert on Sunday morning. He also said it was inevitable the swine flu would hit Australia. “I don’t know how much earlier they knew about it but they certainly did know yesterday,” he said.  Continued:

“Every day in dealing with a pandemic is absolutely crucial.” Senator Brown said the airports should be on alert for people coming into Australia from the Americas.