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“With an oink, oink here.

And an oink, oink there.

Here an oink, there an oink,

Everywhere an oink, oink.”


With all due respect to the Japan Pork Producers Association, the real problem is not what influenza A H1N1 is called but the culture of fear the media is exacerbating.


There are reported cases of doctors in Japan refusing to examine people complaining of flu-like symptoms AND having 外人 friends OR having travelled in 外国. Doctors should know better – the risk of infection is real but can be managed.


We would all be better served by less “aren’t-we-lucky-it’s-a-gaijin-problem” smugness by TV announcers. We could certainly do with much less video of masked, gowned, and goggled medical staff running around at Narita.


Three things you can do to significantly reduce the risk of H1N1 infection (and the regular seasonal flu, which kills thousands of people every year in Japan):


1. Cover your mouth when you cough.

2. Don’t go to work if you have a fever, cough, sneezes.

3. Wash your hands regularly.


Duh. Your おばあちゃん could have told you that.


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