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As World Health Organization Raises Influenza A (H1N1) Pandemic Alert to Level Six, Hygiene Council Recommends Simple Steps to Help Protect Families from Illness

PARSIPPANY, N.J., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Health Organization has increased the pandemic alert to level six for influenza A (H1N1), also known as swine flu, the first time it has been raised to this level in 41 years. Families should take active steps to protect themselves, but need not be fearful. The outbreak is considered only moderate in severity and level six alert does not mean that influenza A (H1N1) is necessarily causing more serious infections, or deaths. It simply indicates that the virus is spreading in additional regions of the world, such as Australia, Japan, Chile and the United Kingdom. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention representatives, U.S. health authorities have been taking full pandemic preparedness measures over the past month to help protect families from influenza A (H1N1). The declaration is simply designed to help accelerate the production of a vaccine against this new virus and encourage countries around the world to put additional funding toward pandemic research.

"For families around the world, this alert is not a reason for increased concern, but rather increased common sense," said Professor John Oxford, chairman of the Hygiene Council, sponsored by LYSOL(R), the group of leading global experts in the fields of microbiology, virology, infectious diseases, immunology and public health. "The pandemic declaration is simply a reminder to families to follow proper hygiene routines to help protect themselves from illness." The Hygiene Council recommends these preventative measures to help families stay healthy during increased alert levels and year-round:

  • Avoid close contact with people who appear unwell with flu-like symptoms - i.e., fever, fatigue and sore throat.
  • Practice good hand hygiene - wash your hands frequently with soap and water ensuring all of the surfaces of the hands are cleaned. Once washed, dry your hands thoroughly with a clean dry towel. If soap and water are unavailable use a hand sanitizer.
  • Use a disinfectant to regularly disinfect commonly-touched surfaces, such as door handles, taps/faucets and light switches, to prevent germ spread.
  • Practice good cough and sneeze etiquette to prevent spreading germs to others - i.e., cough into your elbow rather than your hands and sneeze into a tissue to minimize hand contact transmission of germs. Throw used tissues away immediately and wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with your hands.
  • If you feel unwell with flu-like symptoms, stay at home. Do not go to work and seek advice from your doctor or health authority via telephone.

Many LYSOL(R) Disinfectant products are effective against strains of influenza A virus and specifically the H1N1 strain, including LYSOL(R) Disinfectant Spray, LYSOL(R) Disinfecting Wipes, LYSOL(R) All Purpose Cleaner Pourables and LYSOL(R) All Purpose Cleaner Triggers.

To find more information and resources to help protect your family, visit:

About LYSOL(R)/ Reckitt Benckiser, Inc.

Reckitt Benckiser is the world leader in household cleaning, (excluding laundry) and has a major presence in health and personal care. The Company is truly global, with over 60 operating companies and over 40 manufacturing facilities worldwide. With sales in 180 countries, the Company employs 22,000 people around the world. Among the Company's leading brands in household are LYSOL, the world leader in disinfecting cleaning; Calgonit, Finish and Electrasol; the world leaders in automatic dishwashing; Woolite, world leader in fine fabrics; Vanish and Spray 'n Wash, world leaders in fabric treatment; Mucinex and Delsym, leaders in U.S. cold and cough; and Airwick and Mortein, both leading brands in air care and pest control, respectively. Reckitt Benckiser is headquartered in Slough just outside London and is listed on the London stock exchange. Its North American headquarters is in Parsippany, New Jersey, which is 30 miles West of New York City. With a market capitalization of $40 billion, Reckitt Benckiser ranks among the top 25 UK listed companies. Reckitt Benckiser has annual net revenues of $10 billion.

SOURCE Reckitt Benckiser
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