My lips are sealed: Swine flu curbs kissing in Lebanon on Valentine's Day

The Lebanese health minister requested that people avoid kissing “except in absolutely necessary cases” to avoid the spread of the H1N1 virus.

A couple share a kiss (illustrative). (photo credit: REUTERS)
A couple share a kiss (illustrative).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A new hashtag was trending in Lebanon on Sunday following a statement made by Health Minister Wael Abou Faour in which he requested the public avoid kissing “except in absolutely necessary cases,” to avoid the spread of the H1N1 virus according to reports by Al Arabiya.
The health minister cautioned against spreading the virus through oral contact considering four people have died of the swine flu in Lebanon this season just ahead of the Valentine's Day.
The Lebanese people found the health minister's comments to be humorous and took to Twitter to mock his recommendations. Photos of people kissing, duckface selfies, famous movie make-out scenes and even photos of people kissing their pets flooded the internet followed by the hashtag ‘#kissforfaour."

"Plot twist: Abou Faour doesn't want the Lebanese to kiss because he hates Valentine's day," tweeted one user.

"If that's the case...," wrote another Twitter user, "let's all send kisses to our politicians maybe this way we'll get rid of them soon enough."
Others used the hashtag as a chance to bemoan their single status.
"When your whole timeline is #KissForFaour but you're single...," tweeted another along with a photo of his ideal date.

While the twitter-sphere took the warning lightly and humorously, a spokeswoman for the World Health Organization said it was indeed  necessary to take the proper precautions against the spread of the virus.

According to the Al Arabiya report, the spokeswoman for the WHO recommended using hand hygiene and social distancing from people who have symptoms of flu, as well as vaccination with the flu vaccine for people at higher risk of complications,” to reduce the chances of getting infected.