Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Means No Wine for Some Catholics | NBC Chicago

Back in the early 1990s, I reported on evidence that Catholic Communion practices -- specifically sharing the same cup of wine -- posed viral infection risks. Any time you share a glass, spoon or fork with another person, you are trading germs. That also happens when you touch another person's body (especially eyes, nose and mouth, but other parts, too, including skin.)

For those of us who dine out often, this is yet another reason why restaurant staff need to be careful to handle silverware only by the end that doesn't go into your mouth. Bartenders who serve drinks handling a glass by the rim also put you at risk. I like to watch how people handle dishes before I am comfortable in many restaurants.

And again, this is just another reason people should follow common sense infection control practices every day. The same things recommended now to avoid swine flu (or "H1N1 flu") are things we should do anyway to avoid other forms of flu, hepatitis, and other widely spread infections.

Just as health care workers learned in the 1980s, "universal precautions" work best because you cannot tell that someone is infectious just by how they look.

Swine Means No Wine for Some Catholics | NBC Chicago

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