Public Health

Pakistan Takes On Swine Flu, Sort Of

ISLAMABAD — It's not like Pakistan doesn't have enough problems; now the Health Ministry is taking on swine flu.

The views expressed were not surprising in this Muslim country where pork is considered "haram" (a sin)

Ministry officials said there is no immediate threat to Pakistan largely because there is no "pig rearing industry" or "domesticated pigs" here.

"Although no country bordering Pakistan has reported any infection from the swine flu virus, precautionary measures have been taken by the Ministry of Health," a statement reads.

The only threat is from passengers arriving from overseas who may be carriers of the swine flu, the statement continued.

All airports have been asked to screen passengers entering Pakistan. It seems pretty feckless, however.

The statement said: "Crew of all arriving aircraft are being instructed to be vigilant and observe passengers for signs of flu-like symptoms and report to the airport health authority as soon as the plane lands."

The public at large is advised to observer precautions such as:

- 'Covering mouth w/ handkerchief and elbow while coughing and sneezing.'

- Hands and nose must be washed frequently (as done in ablution)

- People with flu like symptoms must avoid physical contact with others and consult a doctor.

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