Work Bank warns that crowded conditions would mean disease would spread ‘like wildfire’ if it reached the workers

Labour camps in the Gulf are most at risk from swine flu, the World Bank Group has warned. A health official from bank said the illness could spread through the camps ”like wildfire” should it reach them.

Guy Ellena, director of health and education at the International Finance Corporate (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, said the crowded living conditions of migrant workers would lead the rapid spread of swine flu if it entered their camps. He told local press: “Migrant workers are among those most at risk, as they live in such close proximity to one another. Large concentrations of people, living in less than adequate hygiene will be exposed much more than those living in a better environment. It would spread like wildfire.”

The Gulf countries are to hold an emergency meeting next week in Qatar to co-ordinate efforts to combat swine flu.