Swine Flu

Spreading the message against swine flu Ramesh Susarla


Doctors launch exercise to spread awareness on measures to be taken against the virus


GUNTUR: People in Guntur have stopped shaking hands, instead they have begun saying `Namaste’ to each other — all this for fear of contracting swine flu.

For a few it looked awkward, but when they were explained the concept, they laughed to their heart’s content and promised to spread the message to stop the virus.

The H1N1 virus spreading very fast in the West and North Indian cities, a group of doctors and social organisations have taken up a massive exercise to spread awareness on precautionary measures to be taken for not contracting the disease, which spreads due to shaking hands or being in the close vicinity of a person afflicted by it.

A Guntur-based plastic surgeon G. Satish, has created a website www.namaste.net.in on which he explains the various ways of likely transmission of H1N1 virus from one person to the other and also provides some tips on how to protect oneself.

A silent revolution began on Wednesday with a group of doctors and social activists deciding not to shake hands at the meetings or anyone who met them till the H1N1 virus was inactive in the country.

Advising people to wash their hands regularly with soap and disinfectants, they are spreading the message by delivering lectures at the Rotary Club meetings, local clubs, schools and colleges. “We are happy that we did not have rain so far, so the virus was not active here, but with rain beginning on Thursday could enhance the chances of the dormant virus becoming active in Guntur/Vijayawada areas,” said Dr. Satish.

http://www.thehindu.com/2009/08/14/stories/2009081452470300.htm

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