Posted on 05/10/2012

Britain’s are the Worst Flu Spreaders in the World

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Britain’s are the Worst Flu Spreaders in the World

Could the British population really be the worst flu spreaders in the world?

According to recent reports, Britain is the ‘most unhygienic nation’ when it comes to major flu outbreaks.

Based on an international survey which was carried out in 2010 (when swine flu cases were decreasing), when it came to well-established methods of preventing flu during an outbreak, Brits were least likely to adopt healthy habits to stave away the nasty virus. From frequent hand washing to the avoidance of close physical contact, the results from a sample of the British population showed that only 2% practiced avoidance techniques compared to 46% of Mexicans who took extra precautions.

Results from the study fail to mention however the root of the swine flu epidemic which started in Mexico. With a higher death rate, it is no surprise that those close to infected regions took extra precautions to stay healthy. While the number of deaths in the UK was dramatically lower, it was reported that there had been an ‘over-reaction’ to the threat, which may have influenced the perception of the public – resulting in less than cautious actions.

Carried out by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health alongside other institutions in the US, the study was published in the medical journal The Lancet. It is important however, to remember that because this behaviour was self-reported (the research was carried out via telephone), we cannot be certain just how many precautions were adopted amongst individuals with recall bias expected due to the length of time spent between the initial rise of the epidemic to the days in which it declined.

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