Facts on The Swine Flu in Australia
The lady who brought the first known swine flu case to Australia was traveling home from Los Angeles. She contracted the virus weeks earlier and because of this, around 300 people she came in contact with on the flight and in the airport had to be notified and brought in for testing. While Australians would like to point the finger at her, the truth is, dozens of other travelers could have already brought the H1N1 influenza virus into the continent by plane or cruise ship. In fact, 2,500 passengers aboard the Pacific Dawn were quarantined to the ship while 25 experts came in to test everyone individually after 3 crew members tested positive for the virus.
One month later, by June of 2009, there were already 400 cases of the swine flu in Australia, 306 of which were found in Victoria. The dangerous virus was found to be targeting the younger generation of children between 5 and 18 years old which put parents in a panic. Closing out the year, there were several thousand known cases and a significant number of deaths.
Since it is important to stop the virus from being brought into Australia through tourists or residents returning home, it is imperative that you do everything you can to protect yourself from becoming infected and to prevent the spread of the virus to others, should you become infected. Practicing common sense is crucial. If you don’t’ feel good, stay home and if you cough or sneeze in public, do so in the crook of your elbow, not your hand. If you use your hand, the air droplets that have been expelled into your hand will now contaminate everything that you touch.
You need to get in the habit of washing your hands often and if you have children, teach them to do the same so even when they’re at school and you’re not there to tell them, they will know they need to do it. For times there isn’t a sink and soap handy, use a sanitizer that is alcohol-based to kill germs you have picked up, especially after you touch doorknobs, railings, or any object that someone else could have contaminated.
The last thing to remember to protect yourself from the Swine Flu in Australia is to keep your hands away from your face. The virus enters your body through your mucous membranes such as your mouth, nose and eyes so unless you have freshly washed your hands, keep them away from these areas.