Turkish public unconcerned but curious about swine flu

Turkish public unconcerned but curious about swine flu

Turks are more curious than concerned about the swine flu outbreak that has killed over 150 in Mexico and the US.

April 30, 2009, Thursday/ 17:25:00/ ALİ ASLAN KILIÇ
The swine flu, which has killed over 150 people in Mexico and which threatens to become a pandemic, has been met with increasing curiosity rather than concern by Turks, doctors say.
Adnan Gülsoy, a doctor at Fatih University's hospital in Ankara, said there isn't serious concern among people since the country still hasn't seen any cases of swine flu. "But they try to be informed about the infection and ways of preventing it, which I find useful," he said. Gülsoy also noted that the hospital is informing the public about how the flu can be contracted and recommends people avoid kissing and hand-to-hand contact while they are ill since they increase the risk of infection.

Serap Turan, a human resources manager at Ankara's Akropol Hospital, said the hospital has received a number of questions from people about the source and general situation of the infection. "We have prepared a text to inform our patients about the infection and sent it to them via e-mail. We are pleased to see that people are trying to stay informed about the infection," she said.

Doctors, however, are concerned about the virus due to its rapid growth and difficulty treating it. Akropol Hospital chief physician Kadri Demirel said the virus is most likely to arrive in Turkey with the advent of the tourism season and that necessary precautions should be taken. "Informing the public about the ways to stop the virus from spreading is of crucial importance in terms of preventive medicine," he said.

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