Preparations for a post-Brexit bubonic plague outbreak (Black Swan event)

Indigo made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health and Social Care

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Department of Health and Social Care.

Department of Health and Social Care
Richmond House
79 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2NS

Dear Sir/Madam

I should be grateful to receive any information about NHS England preparations

(a) to ensure that the NHS has enough appropriate antibiotics - treptomycin, gentamicin, doxycycline, or ciprofloxacin - to treat the entire population of England and Wales in the event that bubonic plague (Yersinia pestis) crosses the Atlantic (eg from Denver, Colorado, or from Los Angeles, California) after the UK leaves the European Union, whenever that is.

(b) to deal with an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant bubonic plague any time after the UK leaves the European Union, whenever that is.

As the vector - fleas - could be brought into the UK on their clothes (or in a matchbox) by someone travelling from America, and as US biosecurity standards are so different (worse) from those of the UK, and as the very common rat in London (rattus rattus) is a potential host, I cannot help feeling that an outbreak of bubonic plague shortly after Brexit may be more likely than another influenza epidemic.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely
Rachel Mawhood

Department of Health and Social Care

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Dear Department of Health and Social Care

My FOI request, about national preparedness for a post-Brexit Black Swan event such as a bubonic plague outbreak has not been fulfilled by the due date. As Brexit is still "on the table", bubonic plague could too easily be "imported" by a traveller from the US, and there are already severe medications shortages in some areas (although Britain has not yet left the EU), my FOI request is still relevant, and I look forward to it being fulfilled. Let us not wait until we have to pay US-level prices for the relevant antibiotics to treat everyone in the UK.

Yours faithfully
Rachel Mawhood

Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Mawhood,

Please find attached the Department of Health and Social Care's response
to your recent FOI request (our ref: FOI-1190504).

Please accept our apology for the late arrival of this reply.

Yours sincerely,

 Edward Franklyn 

Freedom of Information team
Department of Health and Social Care

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