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Officials Say Don't Call It the "Swine Flu" Anymore

Updated on April 30, 2009

Can you believe it? It is apparently no longer politically correct to call it the "swine flu". Agricultural groups, concerned about consumers staying away from pork, have successfully convinced the federal government to start calling it the "H1N1 flu" .

Officials say that the term "swine influenza" has fueled the misconception that you can get the disease from eating pork or having contact with pigs. The eruption in Mexico and in the U.S. were actually transmitted between human to human, each with no immunity to the new strain.

"Since the flu outbreak made headlines last week, the National Pork Producers Council has pestered health officials to stop calling it swine flu. 'The whole industry is talking to the USDA and the White House,' an industry lobbyist said. The American Farm Bureau Federation issued a statement Tuesday suggesting 'hybrid influenza' is a more accurate term than swine flu."

- The Wall Street Journal

Other names people are suggesting:

  • "North American Flu"
  • "Mexican Flu"
  • "Novel Flu"

I think it's too late for that now. Several countries have already banned pork imports, although officials have repeatedly pointed that this is not a food-borne illness. At this point, are people really going to care? In a couple of weeks this whole thing would be yesterday's news and everyone would have moved on.


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