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Americans took this swine flu threat seriously -- very seriously

May 8, 2009 | 11:17 am

Mask Why be sorry when you can be safe? And if family closeness takes a hit, so be it (more on that later).

Two-thirds of Americans polled Tuesday and Wednesday of this week said that they or someone in their household had stepped up their hand hygiene in response to reports about the new H1N1 flu strain, washing their hands or using hand sanitizer more often than usual. 

The survey, by the Harvard School of Public Health, also found that:

35% had steered clear of someone with flu-like symptoms.

27% had taken a pass on air travel.

25% had skipped crowded public places.

14% had stopped shaking hands.

And (in regard to the closeness reference): 12% had stopped hugging and kissing close friends or relatives.

Wow.

Here are the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers of confirmed cases in this country and confirmed flu-related deaths (two -- and both had underlying health conditions).

Here are the full results of the survey.

Of note, Americans -- 83% of them anyway -- were pretty happy with their public health officials' handling of the whole thing.

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: Granted, kissing is difficult when wearing a mask. But hugging, that should be fine.

Credit: Associated Press

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Comments (2)

Here's a simple thing we all can do to stop the spread of viruses, colds, flus. Cough and sneeze into your elbow!
Why? Unlike the hand, the elbow does not touch much. Unlike a tissue, the elbow is always available.
Do an internet search on COUGH INTO YOUR ELBOW.
PLEASE do not cough or sneeze into your hands.
Simple change of habit that can result in less germs and viruses being spread.
I found a video that does a good job of explaining how viruses and germs are spread.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56mq1t1BqfY

Melanie! That is what I've been trying to tell people for ages. My little brother coughs/sneezes into his shirt and I thought that was the most genious thing ever. You lift up the collar of your shirt or sweater, sneeze towards your arm. No germy hands, and if you do happen to have a messy sneeze, no one sees it and you can clean yourself up after.

Elbow or shirt, just STOP sneezing into your hands!



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