To follow up on what I posted on April 28:
Scientists say that the majority of the genetic code of the new human-swine-bird-hybrid influenza virus comes from swine — and that it is accurate, therefore, to call the new outbreak of influenza “swine flu.”
(Quotes from virologists include: “Scientifically, this is a swine virus” and “It’s a flu virus from a swine; there’s no other name to call it.” That’s good enough for me.)
Ha ha ha! Take that, Israel!
The World Health Organization announced today that it will stop calling the current influenza outbreak “swine flu” in order to prevent the unnecessary slaughter of pigs, such as has happened in Egypt.
I’m all for preventing the unnecessary slaughter of pigs — in fact, all of us probably should go vegetarian anyway — but why do I have the sinking feeling that primarily the WHO caved in to the pork industry? And maybe even in to Israel as well?
In any case, “swine flu” already has stuck, and I think that it thus is irresponsible to change the name of the outbreak at this point in the game. Changing the name at this point probably will cause some confusion, such as whether the new name adopted by the WHO – the onerous “H1N1 influenza A” — is yet another new outbreak of influenza.
It will remain “swine flu” to me.