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The world is beset with swine flu! It has hit India and has the potential to disrupt organisations and the economy- more by the panic it creates rather than by the numbers who might actually succumb to it- however morbid that might sound.

Reports just out indicate that in the US about 0.6 % of those afflicted by swine flu have died with the corresponding figure for Europe being 0.1 %.

Just about anyone can get swine flu especially in large cities where the incidence seems to be much higher. It spreads largely by people to people contact.

Yet you and I can take precautions to minimize the risk of getting affected.

I am no doctor but here is some common sense advice:

  1. This is no time for heroics. If you have any of the symptoms, do your colleagues a favor- don’t go to work . If you are the boss, make sure that those who might have the flu, don’t stay on.
  2. If you have to go to work and if they let you- stay in a place where you are less likely to pass on the infection to others.
  3. Maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene as you could catch the infection during the commute, at the cafeteria- just about anywhere.
  4. Be sensible about it and avoid spreading rumors. Nothing fuels a panic more than stupid rumors which are more often than not largely unfounded.

The figures change by the hour. A recent report says that in India 1,193 were affected ( as on Aug 13) . Don’t rush out to buy a mask. It is recommended only for those who show symptoms. Hundreds of people rushing to pharmacies to buy masks in some Indian cities has triggered a huge demand for them. The beneficiaries are the guys who sell them. Reports suggest that masks that ordinarily cost Rs. 55 were being sold for as much as Rs. 600!!

Stay safe and take care!

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