home
RSS
September 11th, 2009
01:15 PM ET

Stop calling it swine flu!

By Miriam Falco
CNN Medical News Managing Editor

The U.S. Department of Agriculture symbolically slapped the news media on the hand Thursday for perpetuating the term "swine" flu in reports about the new H1N1 strain of influenza that's spreading across the world.

In a written statement and during two telebriefings, the USDA reminded reporters that since last Spring they have “consistently asked that the media stop calling this ‘novel’ pandemic virus ‘swine flu.’”

So what's the big deal? Health officials say the H1N1 virus more closely resembles the pandemic Spanish flu of 1918 than a swine flu. The USDA says struggling pork farmers are being hurt in a big way when the virus is called “swine flu.” USDA officials stress that “ you cannot get infected with 2009 pandemic virus from eating pork or pork products."

"Each time the media uses the phrase ‘swine flu’ a hog farmer, their workers and their families suffer,” says USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement posted on the USDA Web site. “It is simply not fair or correct to associate the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza with hogs, an animal that does not play a role in the ongoing transmission of the pandemic strain."

USDA officials point out that China is not importing U.S. pork because of the erroneous belief that eating pork is tied to the spread of this new type of flu.

I am a member of the news media and I have used both H1N1 and “swine flu” in my stories because some people know the virus only as “swine flu,” which is what it was originally labeled.

So how did the confusion start?

Back in the spring, when we first heard about "swine" flu, it was given that name because initial tests showed it resembled some known viruses that have circulated in pigs. However, the CDC explains on its Web site, "…further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs." The agency explains that this new H1N1 virus has genetic material from viruses found in European and Asian pigs, as well as genes from birds and humans. Plus, USDA officials point out that this is a human virus because it was first detected in humans. They say there are no reports of H1N1 circulating in any swine herds here in the United States. They acknowledge that Canada, Australia and Argentina have found H1N1 in a few pigs. And Deputy Agriculture Secretary Dr. Kathleen Merrigan says she wouldn’t be surprised if the H1N1 virus does eventually surface in U.S. pig herds. But she stresses that pigs infected with the virus would not be sent to market.

Health officials keep reminding us that the best way to avoid getting sick with this new H1N1 flu virus is to take the following precautions:
– Wash your hands frequently.
– Cough into a tissue or your sleeve, not into your hand.
– Get a regular seasonal flu shot now, and the H1N1 flu vaccine when it becomes available, allowing the highest risk groups to get their shots first.

And please don't call it swine flu.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


Next entry »
soundoff (676 Responses)
  1. Keeley Risius

    May I just say what a relief to discover a person that truly knows what they're talking about over the internet. You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people should read this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you aren't more popular since you definitely have the gift.

    http://andersonn81q9.pointblog.net/A-Simple-Key-For-RV-Body-Shop-Unveiled-38577988

    June 11, 2021 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. near me

    walmart

    June 11, 2021 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. seats near me

    Hi there! This post could not be written much better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send this post to him. Pretty sure he's going to have a great read. Thank you for sharing!

    http://fortworthconventioncenter.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.vip

    June 11, 2021 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Rv Upholstery

    This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise informationÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!

    http://www.surgeryquestion.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.fleetservicesorangecounty.com

    June 11, 2021 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Chevy Venture Van Repair

    https://abenteuerteam.de/redirect/?url=http://sprintervanrepair.com/

    June 11, 2021 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Mercedes Sprinter Van 2015 3500 Repair

    https://toolstud.io/network/redirect.php?url=https://www.campervanrepairshop.com

    June 11, 2021 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. rv trailer repair near me

    http://italianculture.net/redir.php?url=http://ocrvmotorsports.net/

    June 11, 2021 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. prostar collision center

    This is a good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate infoÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!

    https://www.smartsupp.com/affiliate/click?id=1124&url=https://www.ocrvmotorsports.info/

    June 12, 2021 at 06:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Leak Riverside

    After looking at a few of the blog articles on your web site, I honestly like your way of writing a blog. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my web site too and tell me what you think.

    https://www.google.nr/url?q=http://carsonrvexperience.com/

    June 12, 2021 at 06:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Winnebago Van Repair Shop

    Saved as a favorite, I love your web site!

    http://www.volkshilfe-salzburg.mobile-websites.at/?task=get&url=http://www.sprintervanrepair.com

    June 12, 2021 at 06:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Sprinter Valve Body Repair

    Iím amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog thatís equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I found this in my search for something concerning this.

    http://www.trackroad.com/conn/garminimport.aspx?returnurl=https://fleetservicesorangecounty.com/

    June 12, 2021 at 07:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Mercedes Benz Sprinter RV Service Locations

    https://www.google.nr/url?q=https://campervanrepairshop.com/

    June 12, 2021 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. ihop near me

    Hi there, I believe your website could be having web browser compatibility problems. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in IE, it's got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, wonderful blog!

    http://www.sentryselect-incometrusts.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.quotenearme.com/

    June 12, 2021 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 15 minute covid test near me

    http://images.google.vu/url?q=https://bestservicenearme.com

    June 13, 2021 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. dodge dealership near me

    Having read this I believed it was really enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this content together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    https://horizoninteractiveawards.com/index.php?URL=http://www.hootnholler.net

    June 13, 2021 at 01:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. strip club near me

    Howdy! This post couldnít be written much better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I'll send this information to him. Fairly certain he'll have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

    http://cahc-ccpa.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=reviewnearme.com

    June 13, 2021 at 02:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. martial arts near me

    http://www.elegantgardener.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.bonus-books.com

    June 13, 2021 at 02:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. tobacco store near me

    http://www.sarahlawrence.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=nearmyspot.com/

    June 13, 2021 at 05:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. redbox near me

    http://beezen.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bonus-books.com/

    June 13, 2021 at 06:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. beaches near me

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to produce a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a whole lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.

    http://www.designsrazzi.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.nearmyspot.com/

    June 13, 2021 at 07:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. used trucks for sale near me

    http://noahminor.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.quotenearme.com

    June 13, 2021 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. office depot near me

    http://www.lbsmith.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bulknearme.com/

    June 13, 2021 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. gun shop near me

    https://www.bing.com/news/apiclick.aspx?ref=FexRss&aid=&url=https://www.bjsnearme.com&cc=no

    June 13, 2021 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. drugstore near me

    This is a good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise infoÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!

    http://petewhite.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=nearmyspot.com

    June 13, 2021 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. shooting range near me

    Howdy, I believe your site might be having web browser compatibility problems. When I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, fantastic site!

    https://sjrrtm.opennrm.org/-/map/getData.php?url=http://bjsnearme.com/

    June 13, 2021 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. bike shops near me

    https://www.abcplus.biz/cartform.aspx?returnurl=//bestshopnearme.com/

    June 13, 2021 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. wingstop near me

    Great article! We are linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.

    http://www.ianflemingcentre.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestlocalnearme.com

    June 13, 2021 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. good food near me

    I'm extremely pleased to discover this site. I want to to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every part of it and i also have you book marked to look at new information in your website.

    http://caitlin.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.anchoredperformancegym.com

    June 13, 2021 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. car repair near me

    Hi, There's no doubt that your site could possibly be having internet browser compatibility problems. Whenever I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, excellent site!

    http://www.tooldepot.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.oc-rv.com/

    June 13, 2021 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. smiths near me

    I really like it when people come together and share ideas. Great website, stick with it!

    http://byrank.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sanmarinoroof.com

    June 13, 2021 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. rent a car near me

    http://sss.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://carsonrvexperience.com

    June 14, 2021 at 00:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. assisted living near me

    http://livedocs.my-retail-store.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.curtismelancon.com

    June 14, 2021 at 01:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. sephora near me

    http://odokon.org/w3a/redirect.php?redirect=fleetservicesocrv.com

    June 14, 2021 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. dutch bros near me

    http://slides.virtualpathology.leeds.ac.uk/research_4/slide_library/r_bishop_collection/card_index_set/soft_tissue/33959.svs/view.apml?returnurl=https://blowoutvapes.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 02:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. micro center near me

    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who genuinely knows what they are discussing over the internet. You certainly realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people have to check this out and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you aren't more popular given that you definitely have the gift.

    https://www.eportal.uspaacc.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://mixvocals.com

    June 14, 2021 at 03:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. plumbing supply near me

    Hi there! This article could not be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he'll have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

    http://autocar.co.nz/Redirect.aspx?destination=http://sandyfeetsprayer.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 03:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. valvoline near me

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this information together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

    http://irc.lc/www.wildwestforkliftschool.com/bbs-arab

    June 14, 2021 at 05:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. mobile homes for sale near me

    I need to to thank you for this excellent read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you bookmarked to look at new stuff you postÖ

    https://www.basepath.com/ClassicCameras/article.php?url=http://www.postfallsfitness.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 05:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. powder coating near me

    There's certainly a lot to find out about this topic. I like all the points you made.

    https://www.ww17.intstagram.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.allbrewsupplies.com

    June 14, 2021 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. auto shop near me

    https://www.baoviet.com.vn/Redirect.aspx?url=http://paradisepoolnspa.com

    June 14, 2021 at 10:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. places to eat near me

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be helpful to read through articles from other authors and practice something from their web sites.

    http://www.etis.ford.com/externalURL.do?url=www.immigrants.co

    June 14, 2021 at 11:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. dog grooming near me

    https://blog.tieonline.com/feedtie/feed2js.php?src=ocrv.art/

    June 14, 2021 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. orthodontist near me

    http://www.client.paltalk.com/client/webapp/client/External.wmt?url=https://www.fleetautorepairshop.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. for details

    What's up friends, good paragraph and fastidious urging commented
    here, I am in fact enjoying by these.

    June 14, 2021 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. motel 6 near me

    Itís hard to come by experienced people about this topic, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    http://searchesinteractive.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrv.art

    June 14, 2021 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. abc store near me

    This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Thanks a lot!

    https://www.neurostar.com/en/redirect.php?url=https://sprintervanrepairnearme.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. toyota dealership near me

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the most useful blogs on the web. I am going to highly recommend this web site!

    https://hudsonltd.com/?URL=http://www.holistichows.com

    June 14, 2021 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. citizens bank near me

    Good day! I could have sworn Iíve been to this web site before but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized itís new to me. Anyways, Iím certainly delighted I discovered it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back often!

    http://secure.duoservers.com/?lang=en&s_id=123179&rdomain=www.fleetservicesorangecounty.com/&action=order

    June 14, 2021 at 18:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. fun things to do near me

    http://www.ar.paltalk.com/client/webapp/client/External.wmt?url=wholeloops.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Repair Fountain Valley

    I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I certainly loved every bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to check out new things you postÖ

    http://www.grandluxerail.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvcenter.com/box-truck-repair-near-me/

    June 14, 2021 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Next entry »
Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.