Letter: Society must recover the lost art of cleanliness

The recent outbreak of swine flu and fears of a pandemic surely highlight the fact that prevention is better than cure. Everyone should revise and observe simple, basic principles of hygiene.

It may sound fault-finding, but certain unhygienic habits have become far too commonplace in society today - people coughing and sneezing without covering their mouth or nose, spitting openly in the public places and not washing hands before meals.

Hygiene in hospitals, hotels and restaurants is also disgraceful. These are the places where the potential spread of harmful pathogens occur and strict, mandatory legislation should be introduced and enforced.

The importance of hygiene is invaluable. It is not a subject only for students to memorise to pass the exam, but for everyone to observe and practise all through life.

Dr Hari Nawal, Bedford, Bedfordshire

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