The World Health Organisation (WHO), bowing to pressure from meat industry producers and concerned governments, said on Thursday it would refer to a deadly new virus strain as influenza A (H1N1), not swine flu. “From today, WHO will refer to the new influenza virus as ‘influenza A (H1N1)’,” it said on its site. The new strain has infected 257 people. The WHO has confirmed eight deaths although many more people are suspected to have died from the virus. It derives from a swine influenza virus but the new strain has been found only in people. While it contains mostly swine flu genetic sequences, it also contains small amounts of human and bird flu virus genetic material. No pigs have been confirmed to be sick with it. WHO has consistently said the disease cannot be caught from eating pork if it is prepared properly.
But people here will still say “swine.”