Love in a time of swine flu: no kisses for Argentines



BUENOS AIRES- Swine flu fears have already forced Argentines to give up sharing mate, the national drink usually enjoyed with friends, and now they're being told to keep their distance from others too.
Argentine authorities struggling to contain the spread of the A(H1N1) virus in the country are calling on citizens to hold off on their traditionally warm greetings, foregoing hugs and kisses to stave off new infections.



Love in a time of swine flu: no kisses for Argentines
Argentina has registered the most deaths in South America from swine flu -- nearly 70 so far, according to the latest figures from the country's health authorities.
In a country where cheek kisses are part and parcel of greetings, even television soap opera producers have contributed to a nationwide effort to convince Argentines to keep their distance, at least for now.
"Luckily, I'd already filmed my kissing scenes," Paraguayan actor Arnaldo Andre told Argentine newspaper Clarin.
"We're trying to take all necessary precautions. We've stopped kissing colleagues and, to the extent possible, we keep our distance during scenes."
Other victims of the precautionary measures include theaters and tango halls, which have been temporarily closed.
But despite the precautions, football stadiums remain full and cinemas are still open, albeit with audiences being seated with empty chairs between them and other viewers.
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Friday, July 10th 2009
AFP
           


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