Do the Dracula
Otago University researchers from the Wellington campus conducted a trial in the capital at the tail end of the swine flu pandemic last August which has found that the majority of people still don’t cover their mouths when sneezing and coughing. For the study, medical students secretly watched hundreds of people cough or sneeze at a train station, a shopping mall and Wellington Hospital. What they saw wasn’t pretty, with most people failing to properly prevent an airborne explosion of infectious germs. Health officials recommend that people sneeze into their elbow, in a move sometimes called ‘the Dracula’ for its resemblance to a vampire suddenly drawing up his cape. But only about 1 in 77 did that. “When you cough into your hands, you cover your hand in virus,” said study author Nick Wilson, an associate professor of public health at Wellington’s Otago University campus.