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Kiss warning issued for rock festival due to flu

Fans attending one of the world's biggest heavy metal festivals in Germany were asked on Thursday to avoid "hugging, kissing on the cheek, and shaking hands" lest they spread the H1N1 influenza.

world Updated: Jul 31, 2009 00:27 IST

Fans attending one of the world's biggest heavy metal festivals in Germany were asked on Thursday to avoid "hugging, kissing on the cheek, and shaking hands" lest they spread the H1N1 influenza. On its website, the health ministry of Germany's northern Schleswig-Holstein region optimistically advised revellers to restrain from any such sociable behaviour so as to minimise the infection risk at the Wacken Open Air festival, which runs until Aug. 1.

It also recommended fans did not share bottles of beer.

"We know that kissing and what have you can't be ruled out," said ministry spokesman Oliver Breuer. "They're just tips."

Stalwart rockers Motorhead, Anthrax and Napalm Death are among the bands due to perform at the three-day festival, which organisers expect to attract about 75,000 fans.

More than 430 people worldwide have died from the flu and more than 94,000 people have been, or are, infected.