We’ve been wrong about many things in life – that being a grown-up is great, that mum was wrong about everything, that we’re the centre of the universe, etc – but sneezing is one thing we thought we had a grip on.
Now, it turns out, the world should be sneezing in the way Americans do
Health experts have told the Daily Telegraph that the common habit of covering one’s mouth and nose when sneezing or sneezing into a tissue or hankerchief actually helps spread germs.
Instead, they advise sneezing American-style into one’s elbow, something children in the US learn at school and on kids’ television shows as the superior method, with the technique called the “vampire sneeze”.
Hand Hygiene Australia director Lindsay Grayson told the newspaper that “sneezing or coughing into your elbow should be considered the new good etiquette”, adding that this is “better than into hand or snotty handkerchief” because people then tended to use their snotty hands, or hands that had touched a snotty tissue, to touch things before they had the opportunity to wash them.
The Daily Telegraph today launched its own campaign to encourage people to imitate the ‘dab’ pose popular on the internet when they sneezed.
As of August 18, Australia had suffered almost two and a half times the number of flu cases this year as had been reported in 2016, according to the latest Department of Health statistics.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported earlier this week that more than 3,700 people in Queensland alone had been hospitalized with the flu.
Meanwhile, in Victoria, eight people in aged care centres have died from the illness, with six in Tasmania succumbing.