A spade is still a spade, no matter what you call it. http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/call-a-spade-a-spade.html) A pig might be bacon and pork chops but it is still a pig.
WHO has a new designation for The Swine Fly Outbreak that is more politically correct, user friendly, non- offending to Mexicans or to The Pork Industry. H1N1 influenza A., the swine flu virus originated in pigs, and has genes from human, bird and pig viruses. Scientists are trying to figure out how it jumped and mutated to humans. In the current outbreak, WHO says the virus is being spread from human to human, not from contact with infected pigs.
“The name of the flu led several countries to slap bans on imports of pork from Mexico and the United States, where the outbreak first appeared, and authorities in Egypt have ordered a cull of pigs. European Union health commissioner Androulla Vassiliou told reporters in Brussels yesterday the EC has “decided to call it novel flu from now on.” http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0430/breaking66.htm I hardly call this never before seen strain of flu that is spread by human contact, “novel”
“The scientific nomenclature assigned to the virus is a recognition that it causes influenza in humans. According to the World Health Organization influenza viruses are grouped into three types, designated A,B, and C. Influenza A and B viruses are of concern for human health and only influenza A viruses can cause pandemics. Components that make up the virus include subtypes. Influenza A have 16 H subtypes and 9 N subtypes. Pathogenicity (the capability to produce disease) sometimes is ascribed to the increased number in the subtype, but not always. http://www.butasforme.com/2009/04/30/deciphering-the-name-change-from-swine-flu-to-ah1n1-virus/vfyg
Contrary to labeling it H1N1, “Scientifically this is a swine virus,” said top virologist Dr. Richard Webby, a researcher at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis . Webby is director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Studies on the Ecology of Influenza Viruses in Lower Animals and Birds. He documented the spread a decade ago of one of the parent viruses of this strain in scientific papers. “It’s clearly swine,” said Henry Niman, president of Recombinomics, a Pittsburgh company that tracks how viruses evolve. “It’s a flu virus from a swine, there’s no other name to call it.” http://freedomeden.blogspot.com/2009/05/swine-flu-h1n1-mexico-flu.html
In changing the name, does it impersonalize it? Will it bring awareness that while this outbreak seems to have originated in Mexico, it is in fact a worldwide threat of near epic proportion. While not always accurate in naming the flu from it’s point of origin- Legionaries was from The American Legion conference, Asian Flu from Asia, Swine Flu from Swine, Spanish Flu (1918-1919), Hong Kong Flu (1968-1969), Russian Flu (1977-1978), Beijing Flu (1993-1994), Sydney Flu (1998-1999). Americans from America, Italians from Italy, the flu from Mexico- H1N1.
WHO apparently is more worried about not hurting anyone’s feelings that working on how this virus mutated into humans and how to prevent it as it continues to raise it’s threat levels. “The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent materials for a quick diagnostic test to Mexico so scientists there can quickly screen people for the new flu. The centre’s Dr Richard Besser said test kits were also en route to health departments in all US states to speed up surveillance.” http://www.prisonplanet.com/mexico-encouraged-by-fall-in-new-flu-cases.htmlWhatever At the very least this should speed up identifying the pathogen whose numbers I would expect to rise with easier test tests in place; rather than having to send samples direct to the CDC. Wonder how they accomplished manufacturing the test kits so rapidly and who manufactured them?
Whatever you call it, a spade is still a spade and dead is dead.
In other news, The Wachovia Security brand names begins it’s name change today Wells Fargo Advisors. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/breaking/story/696978.html
You might enjoy these related posts-the most reliable Google Maps on Swine Flu is being put assembled by Henry Niman, founder Recombinomics, who has been tracing the evolution of influenza for the last five years http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&t=p&msa=0&msid=106484775090296685271.0004681a37b713f6b5950&ll=47.517201,-109.335937&spn=101.871352,255.585938&z=2 Another data map is up at http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2009/apr/27/flu-flu-pandemic.
Open wide, say ahhh and check out these posts on the A/H1N1 Swine Flu from Ahrcanum, where the conspiracy spreads as fast as the virus itself . Our disclaimer-Swine Flu Conspiracy theory can sometimes be triggered by real world events. http://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/swine-flu-report/
Photo props from hk.myblog.yahoo.com/jw!DCFyAT…MygSZSw–article?mid=21259