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Swine Flu

Volume 498: debated on Monday 26 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will issue a public health warning on the risk of transmission of swine flu arising from kissing, including a two-cheek greeting; and if he will make a statement. (293219)

The Department will not be issuing a public health warning.

We have consistently advised that symptomatic people should stay at home while ill to avoid infecting others.

People can reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of spreading influenza by routinely adopting high standards of personal and respiratory hygiene.

Those who are not symptomatic should continue their normal activities.

To keep the public informed, in May this year, we ran a mass public health campaign with print, television and radio adverts. The adverts warned the public about swine flu and reminded people to practice good respiratory hand hygiene, that is, to cover their noses and mouths with tissues when they cough and sneeze and then throw the tissue away and wash their hands.

There will also be a further respiratory hand hygiene campaign beginning at the end of October and running through to February 2010.