Refrain from spreading germs in public when sick

One of my siblings living with me recently contracted a persistent dry cough. She was coughing for more than two weeks with no signs of it abating. In that time, she had many sleepless nights.

Her consultations with general practitioners in private practice and at polyclinics did not seem to help. The doctors said someone might have spread a virus to her in public, meaning antibiotics will not help.

Members of the public who are feeling unwell and are manifesting symptoms of an illness, such as a cough, sore throat or running nose should always put on a mask.

Patients need to spare a thought for others in public places, especially given Singapore's high-density population. The proximity of residents here allows viruses and bacteria to spread rampantly.

On numerous instances, I have seen commuters coughing without covering their mouths, let alone wearing a mask. Disease can spread even faster in a closed environment, like in MRT trains. Outdoors, I have also observed some people spitting indiscriminately.

The authorities need to impress upon the public the importance of refraining from such callous and irresponsible behaviour.

Teo Kok Seah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2018, with the headline 'Refrain from spreading germs in public when sick'. Print Edition | Subscribe