“I'M a celebrity and I'm not catching swine flu!”
That is the cry British stars proposed for the next series of a UK survivor show are making.
London's Daily Star newspaper last week reported this year's popular I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here reality show, filmed in the “jungles” of Dungay, could be axed because celebrities are terrified of catching swine flu.
“So many cases of the disease have already been reported where the show is filmed that celebs are refusing to sign up,” the article said.
“And swine flu is spreading so quickly along Australia's Gold Coast that thousands of locals could be infected by the time the series begins in November.
“The nearest town of Murwillumbah has only 7000 residents but has already reported 62 cases of the potentially fatal disease.”
It is not known where these figures have come from, but North Coast Area Health Service director of public health Paul Corben believed them to be “plucked out of the air”.
“We certainly don't have 62 cases in Murwillumbah or on the entire North Coast,” Mr Corben said.
“We have 20 confirmed cases on the North Coast at the moment.”
Filming for the show begins in November and it is believed if the area has more than 1000 cases by then it may be decided it is too risky to go ahead with the show. Mr Corben said a lot of people are at risk of contracting the virus because there is no immunity in the population.
“But the experience globally is most people experience a mild flu-like virus,” he said.
“We're anticipating a large portion of the community will be affected - 20 to 25 per cent of the community.”