Bali and the Swine Flu

mini-pigsYou can’t seem to escape it. It’s getting continuous media coverage and in many ways, rightly so. I’m talking about the Swine Flu. Although at the moment it is relatively far from the shores of Bali it will raise concern should the flu take a hold in South-east Asia and mainly due to the fact that Bali attracts thousands of tourists from this area. Whatever media you feed into there are conflicting stories: some say it is under control, their country doesn’t have it, and the list goes on. The World Health Organisation is maintaining a Level 6 because of the possible dangers of a pandemic. For all you lovers of Pork don’t fret. According to WHO you cannot get the swine flu by eating the products. As their initial ‘contract assessment’ report states swine flu is passed by physical contact, ie. People coughing and spluttering, and of course through places an objects already touched by the infected person, ie. Computer keyboards, ATM’s, doors etc.

Let’s face it, Bali has been hit with a lot of crap in recent years with diseases such as SARS, Avian bird flu, a Dengue Fever outbreak and the island could do well not to be affected by this new flu. So, what do you do about it? First and foremost ensure you wash your hands thoroughly as in your normal routine at home. If for some reason, and I truly home it never occurs, that the swine flu hits Bali then be aware of people who are constantly coughing and sneezing. Yeah I know, a lot of people catch colds in Bali and it makes it hard to decipher those with just a head cold and a person that has the swine of a thing. Ever since the SARS breakout I have carried face masks in my first-aid kit. Easily obtained from your chemist. Another piece of protection I always carry regardless of current flu outbreaks is AQUIM. This is a quick-drying, alcohol-based gel that is excellent for cleansing your hands after anything you do. Many a time I have been out in the country and soap-and-water were far from the scene. Again, ever since the SARS outbreak, I have always carried a supply of Tamiflu (obtained by prescription) which according to WHO at the moment is the anti-viral that seems to keep the swine flu under control.

Of course the insurance companies were quick to jump-on-the-bandwagon with the outbreak of swine flu around the world. They will not cover you for contraction of the flu. Hey, what else is new with insurance companies!

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