Japanese officials have unveiled plans to cope with a possible bird flu epidemic.
The action plan released by the Japanese health ministry Monday anticipates that a quarter of the population, some 32 million people, could become infected and that as many as 640,000 people could die.
The Japanese plan would shut down schools, ban large gatherings and declare a state of emergency in the case of a severe flu epidemic. The government will also increase stockpiles of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu.
Japan has reported no human deaths from bird flu so far.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.