Sunday, July 19, 2009

Swine Flu, how does the French advice to their citizens compare to the UK situation?

The above image will enlarge. It is the english version of posters that are to be seen at french ports and airports. It advises travellers to avoid public places if travelling to a country affected by swine flu (North American flu to the French). By public places they elaborate by explaining that that means social events, shows, public meetings. Now that would mean avoiding the Farmers' Show even with that tenner freely available in your pocket and the Pilgrimage/Cinema of Dreams Roadshow too when it hits town. Is this advice overkill? Only this evening the British Government were telling pregnant mothers that they should do the same if they were very worried about swine flu. The BBC television news channel this evening featured a couple expecting a child and they seemed totally confused by the situation, the husband, a teacher, asking he too should be far more careful so as not to bring swine flu home. The only way a teacher could be more careful would be to stay at home too?
The French position is clear, everyone should avoid public places in a country affected by swine flu. That wouldn't be very good for the economy would it? Is this a factor scaring politicians? Should this precautionary principle at least be advised for all those with 'underlying health problems'? Who knows? Are even the medical experts entirely sure?


Anonymous said...

Supermarkets would seem to me to be a crowded public place. Being part of the crowd at any sports event football, rugby, golf, cricket etc. will put you in close contact with others. Then there's as you say the cinema and of course the theatre and there are festivals and shows. What happens if you need to visit someone in a hospital for any other reason than swine flu?

Living is a risky business and at the moment many more of our younger people are killed in traffic accidents. We can only hope that the infection will remain mild for as many of those who encounter it as possible.

Marvin said...

From here, the American side of the picture, the flu is being all but ignored. There have been notes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying that this fall and winter may be rough and a workable vaccine could well be in very short supply, but it has been mostly, "Move along, nothing to see here." I find this most worrisome, as it seems wholly inconsistent with what other countries are saying and doing. Someone has it wrong. I suppose our best defense is vigorous hand-washing, and, with a nod and wink to Doug Adams, telephone sanitizing.

Anonymous said...

Handwashing, now there's a novel idea! How many times have you withnessed someone leaving a public loo without washing their hands, let alone taking the trouble to wash them for any other reason.

We do not have enough common sense to repect the microscopic beasties, bacteria (E. coli, C. diff, MRSA)and viruses (influenza ), that accompany us tiny and unseen throughout our lives.