Saturday, April 25, 2009

Swine Flu - What we can learn from combating SARS

I'm no medical expert, I don't much about Swine flu that is currently spreading in Mexico and has already cross the border to affect folks in the States. However, the effect of avian flu that affect Hong Kong was still vivid to me. So, when I saw folks in Mexico have started passing face masks, that's a striking scene.

Unlike terrorists, bombs, or other enemies, virus is something we can't see, it kills indiscriminately. As folks have started taking any precaution they can to prevent that from spreading and being infected, I think one of the important and basic thing should be done is to watch out personal hygiene. I.e. wash your hands using soap detergent thoroughly for 10 seconds each time. Mixes choline detergent with water in 1:99 ratio to clean thing, mop your floor, throw your trashes, etc. Also, don't touch animals if possible. If you have pet, don't let it in touch with other's pets. Also, don't go to crowded place unless it is necessary. Cos, if this Swine flu is somewhat like the SARS. It will spread through contact with people.

I remember back in 2003, when the SARS was seriously spread in the far east countries. There was only one country over there had ZERO case reported - Japan! People back then were questioning why folks there were not infected. One of the common belief was that Japanese are serious about their hygiene! Being clean has become part of their civil manner or common daily practice. I saw Japanese couples brought their personal utensil and wet tissues with them to restaurant. They cleaned their stuff before feeding their kids. Also, if you pay attention enough, you know that many Japanese products or inventions are targeted for hygiene improvements. When I was travelling in Japan, places there were just clean. You rarely see trash lying around on the street. People respects their jobs, so the janitor in washroom, the street cleaners etc are doing what they suppose to do in their jobs. No slacking there. Also, their daily behavior or customs do help. For example, folks there will automatically put on face mask if they have a cold or flu. People took off their shoe before walking in their home. Why? I don't know where such tradition come from, maybe because they sit on their tatami all the time, if your shoes are stepping on them, it will make them dirty. Cos, they also sleep on them as well. Regardless, one of the positive side effects is that, any gems that the bottom of your shoes may contain will stay outdoor!

So, I think...besides listening to the medical experts on what to do to prevent contacting the Swine flu, we can and should do some researches on Internet to find out more about improving our hygiene, specially what the Japanese does. Just two cents from me!

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