Skip to Content »

Swine flu? Snot your elbow!

  • June 10th, 2009

All too rarely an official announcement earns memory space for its common touch.

Today’s release from Director of Public Health Mark Jacobs, qualifies. He urges people not to spread their flu germs, because:

 "The influenza virus spreads very easily – via droplets in the air when a person coughs or sneezes and doesn’t cover it up.  The germs can live on hard surfaces for 48 hours. has that quality."

Then follows the gem of simplicity:

“… cover up your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.  Put it in a bin  straight away.  If you don’t have a tissue handy, bend your arm and sneeze into your elbow to stop germs spreading through the air.  Wash and dry your hands thoroughly, particularly after coughing or sneezing.  It’s also important to stay away from sick people…and if you’re sick, stay at home".

This announcement is to me a model of how officials should communicate with the rest of us. But don’t bother looking for it on the Ministry’s website. I got a copy of the release, but I can’t find it to link to on their latest releases page, or the swine flu page. Indeed the swine flu pages are months out of date.



Great tips. I have one that will help reinforce them. I tried this great program with my kids called Germy Wormy Germ Smart. It helped even my 3 year old understand how germs spread and how to NOT spread germs. It was so much fun, and it was amazing how quickly they learned healthier hygiene habits!


Latest Updates are available here for New Zealand MOH, WHO and CDC.


I always knew that there would be more significance to the song “Greensleeves” than merely protecting some woman’s honour!

And Stephen, go easy on the old girl the ministry of hellff. She has so many arms out protecting us from ourselves and drawing us to her breast that the arms are no longer connected.

Leave your comments:

* Required fields. Your e-mail address will not be published on this site

You can use the following HTML tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>