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Survivalists Stock Up Ready for the Worst

Lloyd Hughes isn’t particularly worried about swine flu. If the Government declares a pandemic, the 63-year-old truck driver will simply bunker down with his wife, three teenage children and their 200 cans of tomatoes.

"We’ve also got 250 kilograms of rice, 25 litres of olive oil and loads of flour, plus toilet paper and toothpaste," Mr Hughes, who lives in the Upper Hunter region, said. "It’s about a year’s worth. And if I have to keep the kids at home, I will."

Like many survivalists, Mr Hughes also has "an extensive supply" of over-the-counter medicines: ibuprofen, aspirin, paracetamol, antiseptic creams – everything except Tamiflu.

"Tamiflu won’t work with swine fever. It only addresses the symptoms. What you really got to do is keep to yourself and avoid crowded areas."

News of swine fever has been manna from heaven for survivalists, with the outbreak dominating websites both in Australia and overseas. The US website Glock Talk urged visitors to monitor schools for outbreaks and to “Be vigilant! Be prepared!”

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May 4, 2009