Public shows little fear of flu pandemic

Only one in ten Swiss has bothered to stock up on protective masks to be used in the event of a flu pandemic, according to a Federal Health Office poll.

This content was published on February 18, 2008 minutes

The survey showed that most residents do not intend to buy masks. Around half of the 1,011 respondents said they considered a pandemic unlikely, while a third questioned the value of such a measure.

The health office issued personal hygiene recommendations last year. Besides stocking up on masks, these include regular washing of hands with soap, using a paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and avoiding handshakes.

The authorities are warning that the risk of a flu epidemic is much higher than a few years ago and that a virus could mutate at any time.

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