Spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO) Fiona Fleck has clarified reports about the swine flu, by stating that the only reason the new virus was called swine flu was because “the largest component of this new virus was actually swine flu virus.”
As demand for pig products drops, WHO have announced that the swine flu is a misnomer as it does not affect pigs and has not been found in pigs. “Pigs haven’t transmitted it, as far as we know,” said Fleck, although research has not been conducted to refute the link with pigs.
Fleck admitted the name ’swine flu’ has led some to avoid pig products, which has already had an adverse impact on the livelihoods of those in the pig industry.
She suggested they should hold a public competition to name the A(H1N1) virus: “The scientific name is not very user friendly. I think it would help all of us if we could find a name that’s easier to say, that’s more popular.”
Do you think a naming competition is insensitive? Ridiculous? A step in the right direction? Tell us below.
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