Apr 28th, 2009
A pig by any other name…
Israel has taken offense to the term “Swine Flu,” feeling that it’s insulting to Jews due to their religious belief that pigs are unclean – hence the dietary restriction against eating pork. So instead of “swine flu,” Israel has opted to call the outbreak “Mexico Flu” instead. Israel has two suspected cases of Mexico Flu; both men did in fact travel to Mexico.
Ironically, the renaming of Swine Flu is perhaps the only issue upon which the pork industry agrees with Israel.
Scientists, however, are not planning to rename the virus. Keiji Fukuda of the World Heath Organization noted that the illness is called “swine flu” because the virus is of the type that affects pigs. Noted Fukuda:
“This episode started basically with that name, and the virus that is identified is a swine influenza virus. We don’t have any plans to try to introduce any new names for this disease.”
As it stands, the World Health Organization has changed their swine flu standpoint from “very concerned” to “pandemic alert level Phase 4.“ What this means: the virus can be transmitted to humans by humans and animals, to an extent that there could be a “community-level outbreak.”
The CDC is still providing its latest updates via Twitter.