Wednesday, April 29, 2009

PBS on swine flu

Amidst all the discussion about swine flu prevention in Korea (or, as Brian suggests, the lack thereof), here's a PBS piece on what the US and Mexico are doing. While there are school closings in the US where kids were infected, and mass closings of schools, churches, and businesses where people gather in Mexico, the guidance for the average person is similar to what South Koreans are being told:
Those are the typical guidelines for respiratory infections, frequent hand-washing. If you don't have access to soap and water, use an alcohol gel. Covering your cough or your sneeze, that's very important. And if you're sick, if you have a fever and you're sick, and your children are sick, don't go to work and don't go to school.
Of course, lots of Koreans go to work even when they are sick, fearing reprisal by management or ostracism from colleagues who have to take up the slack, but hopefully the government making noise about something like this will provide social cover for employers and employees to follow such advice.

PBS also reports that South Korea is not alone in banning pork products from the US and Mexico, even though there is no indication that swine flu can be spread through through them:
And several countries, including China and Russia, have issued a ban on pork products from the United States and Mexico, while U.S. government officials insist that American pork is safe for human consumption.
Of course, I don't exactly find US officials the most trustworthy on this point, given that they would basically be forced to say this whether it was true or not. "Safest in the world" and "highest safety standards," said by Obama about US beef, seems to roll off the tongue of government and industry bureaucrats whether it's true or not.

Oh, and before I forget... Needing to get people into treatment when they do have flu-like symptoms is one major reason it is foolish not to have universal health and especially stupid and short-sighted to cut off undocumented residents in your area. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

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