The swine flu outbreak is a good time to remember to stay healthy during all stages of a business trip.
Below are easy-to-remember health travel tips:
• Wash hands frequently for about 15 to 20 seconds with soap and warm water. Anti-bacterial soap is advised. (To scrub like your doctor would before a procedure, refer to www.infectioncontroltoday.com/articles/151bpract.html)
• Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
• Wear a mask when signs of respiratory tract infection or fever appear.
• Carry a travel-size bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitiser. (Remember the limitations on carrying liquids onboard.) This is handy when soap and water are not available.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of it properly by putting it in a lidded bin. Don’t use handkerchiefs because the virus can remain on them.
• Get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of fluids.
• Exercise frequently and eat healthy. Take Vitamin C to boost your immune system.
• When staying indoors, ensure the room has good ventilation.
• Try not to travel if you are feeling unwell.
To date, there is no vaccine for this new strain of swine flu. Contrary to speculation, there is still no evidence to suggest that eating pork is a source of infection, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is strongly believed the virus is being spread by human-to-human contact.
For up-to-date information on the swine flu situation, travellers can check the following websites:
• World Health Organization at www.who.int
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx
• International SOS at http://urgent.internationalsos.com
• Hongkong’s Department of Health at www.dh.gov.hk/eindex.html
• Singapore’s Ministry of Health at www.crisis.gov.sg/flu
Sandy Goh and Gigi Onag