We have been warned to make sure we wash our hands properly to stop the spread of swine flu. The government's adverts show the disease spreading quickly by touch. Sneeze into your hands, they suggest, and you will leave highly infectious fingerprints everywhere you go. It is a scary prospect. But there is something we can do, the adverts tell us.
Use a tissue, throw it away, and then wash your hands. Catch it, bin it, kill it, as the posters say. But even though ordinary flu is a common illness, scientists are not in agreement about exactly how it - or swine flu - is spread. The government's position, as stated on the DirectGov website is: "To reduce the risk of catching or spreading the virus you should... wash your hands regularly with soap and water."