Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bad Time To Be An Egyptian Pig

The hysteria continues:
Egypt began slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country Wednesday as a precautionary measure against the spread of swine flu even though no cases have been reported here yet, the Health Ministry said.
And here in the U.S., the health authorities are going to try a name pullback:
The deadly disease formerly known as "swine flu" is now called the "2009 H1N1 flu," US officials said Wednesday as they battled against a worldwide clampdown on US pork exports.

Bidding to distance the hybrid influenza from pigs, which are responsible for only one part of the strain, US officials again insisted that people could not catch H1N1 from eating pork.

...Pig farmers in the United States, Canada and Mexico -- the disease's epicenter -- are reeling from bans on their exports of live swine and pork meat imposed by several nations including Russia and China.

Despite the name swine flu, no pigs in the United States are reported to be suffering from the disease, which also has components from influenza strains afflicting people and birds in three continents.
We should call it the 2009 swine/people/birds in three continents flu, because it's a handier name than "2009 H1N1 flu", but somehow I think the name pig has already slipped free from its poke, and swine flu it will remain.

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