EUROPEAN Union experts yesterday said a global influenza pandemic that could kill millions remains inevitable, although the immediate threat to human health from bird flu in Europe remained low.

"It's when and not if," Robert Madelin, director-general of the EU's health and consumer protection department, said in Brussels.

He cited scientists' predictions suggesting a pandemic could kill two million to seven million people worldwide, ten times the death rate from regular flu.

8 July 2006