By Duncan Mackay


October 31 - The British Olympic Association (BOA) have stockpiled supplies of Tamiflu, the anti-swine flu, in case there is an epidemic of the virus at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver next year.


British competitors and officials heading for the Games, which open on February 12, are also set to be vaccinated against swine flu.


The strategy was revealed by the BOA after the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said yesterday that it planned to immunise all 350 athletes and officials it planned to send to the Vancouver Olympics and Paralympics.


Team GB Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ian McCurdie told insidethegames: "We have two robust strategies in place to fight any potential outbreak of swine flu during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.


"The first one is preventive; in other words we recommend that a high level of hygiene is maintained so that the risk of contracting swine flu is minimised.


"We are also looking into the potential of vaccinating athletes against swine flu.


"The second strategy is around treatment: we have stocks of Tamiflu to cover all Team GB athletes and officials."


There is a shortage of Tamiflu in Canada, where the Government have been accused of greatly underestimating the demand for swine flu shots.


Swine flu has so far contributed to at least 88 deaths in Canada, more than 1,500 being admitted to hospital and close to 300 critical care ward admissions, according to Health Canada.


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