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Swine flu warning for Tri-Nations Test

16/07/2009 11:58:33 AM Comments (0)

New Zealand health officials are urging rugby fans to stay away from the Tri-Nations rugby Test between New Zealand and Australia if they have swine flu symptoms, a report says.

Saturday's first Tri-Nations Test of the year is already sold out at the 32,000-seat Eden Park.

New Zealanders are obsessed about rugby, the country's national sport, but the deputy director of public health, Fran McGrath, wants people to stay home and watch the game on television if they think they might be sick.

"If you have symptoms, don't go - you might feel well enough, but be considerate to everyone else," she told the New Zealand Herald on Thursday.

Healthy fans were also advised not to share drinks, to use a hand sanitiser before tucking into any food and to "try to stay one-metre (yard) distant from anyone who's unwell, although it's a bit hard to tell".

She admitted the advice might sound "pious" for a rugby game, but it was important to use an alcohol-based hand gel because the flu virus could stay alive on surfaces such as hand rails.

New Zealand has 2,025 cases of confirmed swine flu and nine deaths have been attributed to the A(H1N1) virus, which the World Health Organisation this week described as "unstoppable".

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