Monday, June 1, 2009

Public Health Guidance (A fun read)

My coteacher today handed me a "Public Health Guidance on Influenza A (H1N1)" Questions and answers print out that she received from the Ministry of Education.

I told her about how we foreigners think it is funny that everyone is being told to keep themselves clean (washing their hands) when we see Koreans usually not doing it. She said ...."uh huh, yea it is true".

Anyways here for you are some highlights from the paper. Note that she received a Korean version and this is the English version she handed me.

Q. What is the influenza A (H1N1) virus?
- H1N1 is a novel strain of mutated virus that is currently causing respiratory illness in humans worldwide. HUMANS... that means you too Koreans...unless of course you are robots like I suspected all along.

Q. Does the virus spread between people?
- The World Health Organization and the US CDC report that this virus is capable of human-to-human transmission. ... can be transmitted via droplets from an infected person who is coughing or sneezing. Damn those droplets!

Q. What are the symptoms...?
- ... are not much different from that of a regular seasonal influenza, such as fever, runny nose, soar throat, and cough. Some people have also reported nausea, fatigue, lack of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting. In other words if you feel like shit you may have more than just your regular flu.

Q. How long is the... virus infectious?
- ... is considered to be contagious for up to seven days after onset of symptoms. The infectious period may be longer in children. This may explain why the quarantined folks kept on getting restart dates.

Q. How can I protect myself from ... H1N1 infection?
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Clean your hands thoroughly after throwing the used tissue away.
- Wash your hands often and keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Try to avoid contact with people who appear to have fever or respiratory symptoms. And this could be any "people" right? Not just us foreign folk?

Q. What measures is the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention taking to prevent...H1N1?
- Surveillance for the early detection of ... H1N1 cases has been enhanced, through border control measures using thermal screening and Health Questionaires for incoming passengers, to contain the entry of the disease into Korea.
- 'Guideline for ... H1N1..' has been distributed to public health centers and health care facilities. KCDC also strives to secure adequate supplies of antiviral medications and N95 masks for the management of H1N1 cases.
- We promote essential precautionary measures against influenza to the general public. Koreans travelling abroad are informed about the disease through international text messages. Oh gooody~!

Public Health Guidance on ... H1N1:
1. First wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Good luck Korea!
2. Second, use a tissue to cover... Dispose of the tissue and cleanse your hands thoroughly afterwards. 지 please! hope I am saying that right??
3. Third, report to a quarantine station or a public health center nearby if you develop severe respiratory symptoms including runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, fever or feverishness after returning from countries where ... H1N1 case has been identified.
4. Fourth, you cannot be infected with H1N1 from food consumption.

And I think I will add a 5th:

5. Fifth, run in the opposite direction when you see a foreigner. Pull your kid out of that hagwon and report to the neighborhood that there are sick foreigners roaming free. Eat kimchi.

HAHA enjoyed that!! Well most of it makes a lot of sense and since it went out in Korean I hope it helps people understand this crisis instead of just believing hype.


  1. Why the hostile commentary? Are you being quarantined or something?

  2. Nope not being quarantined.
    Just was trying to be sarcastic and witty at the same time.

    Maybe i have some lamentations due to that a good friend of mine is being put through it.

  3. I got the same thing at work! I wonder if the korean teachers received it as well? Doubt it.


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