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As the number of swine flu cases worldwide continues to rise, it's wise to take precautions to prevent the illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend a few simple steps to reduce your chances of infection:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. When you don't have a tissue handy, use an arm or elbow, not your hand.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through the coughing or sneezing of infected people.

  • If you get sick, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

For the latest news, visit the CDC's information page on swine flu - http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/. Also check out CDC's guidance on how to plan and prepare - http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/individual/index.html, CNN - http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/30/ep.swine.flu.questions.answers/inde... a New York Times blog - http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/readers-questions-the-swine... and ABC - http://abcnews.go.com/Health/SwineFlu/Story?id=7464002&page=1; offer answers to common questions.

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Comments

Hi ENIE NDOH CECILE,

The article is very important. It is high time to send a strong message to locals but how? I feel sad and upset because of population or groups who are deprived of knowledge. How can such valuable message reach targeted groups in remote areas where they have no access to radio or TV , cell phone? people face to face with danger. This time A REAL ONE.

Hi Halima, I understand your point and it is quite pertinent. However, i always hold communication is not only limited to the press and media, interpersonal communication is very necessary. Back home i usually undergo tedious journeys to reach out to the population in rural communities. I therefore urge you if you think they are at risk and definitely need to be educated on this subject then brace all odds and visit some of these communities. By so doing you might just have saved a life or two.

Good luck and all the best

thanks for the advice, that is in case it spreads to Cameroon. You know, a lot of people are under the erroneous impression that you can get it from eating pork. Some pig farmers here are already terrified and have started slaughtering their pigs to minimize their loses. We are however doing all we can to inform them so that they don't do that.

Hi Nelly, we never can tell for the Flu seems to be spreading really fast, so it is good to take precautions and educate the masses before hand, so that they can be alert.

I see your point, that's what happened with the Bird Flu episode in Cameroon, some peole destroyed their poultry farms and this equally had an impact on their economic resources- it was quite a loss. And after there was chicken shortage in Cameroon making it expensive. Some of us who new better then benefitted, since during the flu the prices of chicken dropped considerable. The Ministry of Agriculture and Communication really need to carryout aggressive sensitisation programs to wipeout any misconception before Cameroon ones more experience pig shortage especailly since pig has so much value and significance in some areas.

Kind Regards and all the Best