Thursday, September 10, 2009

Carry H1N1 kit when shopping, travelling

By Annie Freeda Cruez

KUALA LUMPUR: People are advised to carry a H1N1 kit when they go shopping, travelling, balik kampung and visit friends and relatives.

The kit should include a three-ply face mask, a packet of tissues and a small bottle of hand sanitiser.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said yesterday: "Keep them in your pocket or handbag and use them when necessary."

Dr Ismail has these items with him wherever he goes.

"I use the hand sanitiser as often as possible as it protects me against influenza A (H1N1).

"Washing your hands with soap and water and using hand sanitiser will protect you against other infections."

During a meeting at the ministry with the press yesterday, health officials issued basic dos and don'ts for the holidays.

Among the dos are:

- Plan your holiday well, keeping in mind the pandemic and if possible travel in your own vehicles instead of using public transport, especially those in high-risk groups.

- Have the H1N1 kit with you at all times, whether at home, travelling or visiting friends and relatives.

- Those with flu-like illness and those in high-risk groups must wear face masks in public places.

Among the don'ts are:

- If you are sick and need to balik kampung, don't hug and kiss, particularly aged parents, elderly people, children below 2 and those in high-risk groups as they could get infected and suffer complications. Postpone your visits to homes of relatives and friends.

- Avoid kenduri and open house if you are sick.

With the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah in progress, Dr Ismail urged parents to monitor their children's health and to quickly take them to a clinic or hospital if they exhibited flu-like illness.

"Don't allow them to go out if they are ill except to sit their exams."

Yesterday, another 173 people with flu-like illness were admitted to hospitals while a similar number who were warded earlier were discharged.

There are now 1,175 people with flu-like illness in hospitals with another 275 confirmed positive for H1N1.

The death toll remains at 73. - NST

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