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PIA Press Release
2009/06/04

Feature: Keep your sneeze to yourself

By Venus May H. Sarmiento

Dagupan City (04 June) -- Having attended a symposium on Influenza A H1NI at the City Museum and the KBP Forum just this morning at the Philippine Information Agency office where doctors repeatedly said it is best to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, I, for one will remember a popular jingle of Barney, the purple dinosaur.

The Barney song goes, "Keep your sneeze to yourself, don't share your germs with anyone else…" and Barney goes to lecture BJ, Baby Bop and the kids with the proper etiquette when sneezing or coughing.

Indeed, experts are one in saying maintaining cleanliness and proper hygiene are two of the best defenses against sickness or any form of virus for that matter. When coughing or sneezing, they recommend using tissue papers but disposing of it immediately or better yet, sneeze inside your shirt, in that way, you "don't share your germs with anyone else."

It is not advisable, they said, to use the hands to cover the mouth and nose as the germs that accumulated in our hands could be transferred quickly. It is because we touch things with our bare hands. Holding the door knob, shaking hands or answering the phone are acts that can easily transfer germs to the next user.

Although there is no vaccine yet for influenza A H1N1, participants were urged to have the seasonal influenza vaccine to increase their resistance against all forms of viruses.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Jackson Soriano, noting the high cost of flu vaccine which usually ranges from P600-P800, advised the public that the most cost-effective measure to prevent the spread of diseases is maintaining good health, cleaning premises, having the right amount of sleep, eating nutritious food and ‘not to panic.'

So there, let us clean. sleep, eat healthy and keep our sneeze to ourselves because as Barney said, ‘Germs are oh so small, your can't see them at all…' (PIA-Pangasinan) [top]

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