Thursday, April 30, 2009

Naming a flu: from 'swine flu' to '2009 H1N1 flu'

In April 2009, a flu outbreak in Mexico City, spreading into other areas and countries, made headlines. In the beginning, this flu was generally termed swine flu, although affecting humans. The H1N1 strain of the flu virus was found to be a mixture of genetic material from swine, bird and human flu strains. U. S. public health officials dropped the term swine flu in favor of 2009 H1N1 flu, which is a neutral and descriptive notation. The World Health Organization (WHO) decided to stick with the term swine influenza. Other suggested terms such as North American flu and Mexican flu are controversial and inappropriate and shoud be avoided—as most people will probably agree.

No comments:

Post a Comment