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PIA Press Release
2009/04/29

ASEAN gives swine flu prevention tips

by Rey Anthony Chiu

Tagbilaran City (29 April) -- Going pro-active against the swine influenza scare and keeping people from any respiratory illness, the ASEAN Secretariat Working Group for One Health (ASEC-ONE Health) comes out with a ten-points tip.

"These are general precautionary measures in Asia to prevent any type of influenza or any respiratory illness now capable of spreading from person-to-person from hitting," the group explained.

First, they said, there is no substitute for hand washing. Frequent hand-washing with soap and water many times of the day and then drying your hands after washing should do the trick. However, when water is not available, the use of alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers will be enough.

Second, touching eyes, nose or mouth may be bad practice. Influenza viruses are often spread when a person touches surfaces that are contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

Third, people must avoid close contact, especially with people who are sick. This should mean temporarily refraining from shaking hands with or kissing other persons while there are reported outbreaks of influenza.

Fourth, it is always good to stay at home when you are sick. If possible, avoid crowded places when sick. This helps prevent others from catching the illness.

Fifth, when sneezing or coughing, covering of mouth and nose with a tissue or a handkerchief is recommended. This helps prevent the spread a tissue. If one doesn't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into upper sleeve, not in the hands.

Then, discard used tissue into the wastebasket immediately. A surgical mask may be polite and keeps you from contaminating others, the group added.

Sixth, keep your distance when you are sick, this protects others from getting sick too.

Seventh, nothing beats practicing good health habits, stopping from smoking, getting enough rest, having regular exercises and being physically active. Managing stress also helps, while drinking plenty of fluids and juice or taking in nutritious food also keeps one insulated from infection.

Eighth, when one feels he is sick, he must consult a doctor. ASEC One says seeking medical attention can help arrest the illness, and when one feels the symptoms: difficulty of breathing, confusion, severe vomiting, seeking medical attention is the best.

Ninth, if one feels sick, he must defer travel. Refraining from getting on an airplane or other forms of public transport to travel helps contain the viral spread. If one must travel by plane to a country reported to have swine influenza outbreaks and feeling ill after returning from it, doctors must immediately be consulted.

Finally, ASEC one says it pays to listen to local health authorities and keep updated of the situation on the influenza outbreak. (PIA) [top]

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