MP's advice to stop a sneeze
THOSE about to sneeze should press their tongue firmly against the roof of their mouth, an MP advised today.
Following a swine flu statement in the Commons, Labour's Nia Griffith (Llanelli) suggested the advice should be included in official guidance on preventing the spread of infection.
MP Nia Griffths
But Health Secretary Alan Johnson said he had "roadtested" the theory and it did not work.
Ms Griffith said: "In talking to people about how we can prevent the spread of infection, I have been very surprised to find out how very few people know that you can actually prevent a sneeze by licking the roof of your mouth.
"By putting your tongue firmly against the top of your mouth, you can stop a sneeze coming out or at least stave it off long enough until you've got a handkerchief out of your bag.
"I would like to ask you if you might consider including this in advice to people about how to prevent the spread of infection."
Mr Johnson replied: "You very helpfully passed me a note last week after the statement about this and I'd never heard about it before.
"All I can say is I've roadtested it and so has my right honourable friend (Health Minister Dawn Primarolo) and it doesn't work.
"So I think what we need perhaps is some instruction from you."