FREE: Four sure-fire steps to ward off Swine Flu

K. JAVEED NAYEEM writes: Whether we accept it or deny it, it is a fact that Swine Flu cases are on the increase in our country.

It is a potentially dangerous and often fatal affliction with a very high degree of infectivity brought on by physical contact and droplet transmission through coughing and sneezing. Anxious patients and their accompanying persons ask me how they can avoid getting infected.

Here are the most effective measures that can arrest its spread.

# Firstly, avoid shaking hands with all the persons you meet in a show of great Western warmth. A very Indian ‘Namaste’ or ‘Aadab’ can be an equally warm way of expressing your affection and regard without endangering yourselves and the person you are greeting.

# Secondly, avoid hugging people and pecking them on their cheeks as most members of the fair sex do these days. It is certainly more dangerous than shaking hands.

# Thirdly, avoid very crowded areas and air-conditioned halls without good cross-ventilation. Air conditioners are notorious for ensuring that all those present receive a fair dose of the infection they are trying hard to avoid!

# Lastly, if you are in doubt, use hand sanitisers liberally to keep yourself safe after shaking hands, especially with your doctor!

(K. Javeed Nayeem is a practising physician who writes a weekly column in Star of Mysore, where the full version of this piece appeared)

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The doctor who dissected the body of J.B.S. Haldane