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Swine flu precautions to be explained in schools

Pupils at local schools are being encouraged to take sensible hygiene precautions, to help slow the spread of swine flu, should it reach the Island.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organisation raised the alert level for the disease from four to five, one short of a full pandemic.

The outbreak started in Mexico and there have been several cases in the United Kingdom, but the Manx government is stressing there is no need to panic.

Education Minister Anne Craine says children will be told soon what steps they should take:

"The emphasis at the moment must be on personal hygiene and encouraging, through the schools, hand washing, the use of tissues and just taking those very elementary, sensible precautions in the first place."

Mrs Craine says the children will be told what to do when they return to school after the bank holiday break:

"I've only been speaking to (public health consultant) Dr Emerson this morning, and that is something we are going to push out as a priority next week."

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