Gov't won't urge people to wear masks in workplace

ATLANTA (AP) -- A leading U.S. health official says authorities are not currently recommending that people across the country put on masks in the workplace to protect against swine flu infection.

Dr. Richard Besser was asked at a news conference Monday afternoon if that is a precaution that people should be taking in the wake of indications the disease has spread substantially in Mexico and is showing up in five U.S. states.

Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control, said the evidence "is not that strong" that the wearing of protective masks effectively limits the outbreak of such diseases.

Besser said that for now he'd prefer to focus on regular hand-washing, and people "not giving that little kiss of greeting that they're used to right now."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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