A Swine Flu By Any Other Name...Won't Fly

Posted by: David Kiley on April 30, 2009

pig-thumb.jpg

From the department of “Good Luck With That…”

The pork industry is trying to convince media outlets to stop calling the swine flu “swine flu,” because of the impact on pork sales.


“It never should have been called swine flu,” said Dave Warner, director-communications, National Pork Producers Council. The sickness, named after its point of origin, is airborne and contracted by human-to-human contact.

The nice folks at the pork council suggest we call it H1N1 virus.

Um…yeah. The only way that pig has a chance of flying is if you send every reporter on your media list free bacon for a year. And then…I give it only a maybe.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://blogs.businessweek.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/

Reader Comments

The Mad Hedge Fund Trader, San Francisco, CA

May 1, 2009 02:10 PM

A few bad tacos in Mexico, and all of a sudden the world has gone apoplectic about another Spanish flu epidemic, when 5% of the global population died, or 50 million. The State Department banned non essential travel to Mexico, cratering that economy, while the EC recommended against travel to the US. With visions of SARS in their minds, which sent markets in Asia tumbling a few years ago, traders sold off the Mexican Bolsa by 4% and the Hang Seng by 2.7%, American Airlines (AA) 10%, Carnival (CCL) 10%, and Royal Caribbean (RCL) 15%. The Mexican peso got slammed in the FX markets, and commodities tanked across the board. Tamiflu makers Gilead Sciences (GILD) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), as well as drugstores like Rite Aid (RAD) got a nice bump. Epidemiologists say the world is long overdue for a reoccurrence of a severe pandemic, with the explosion of international trade and an exponential growth in populations. But it is highly unlikely this is the Big One. Mexico’s public health infrastructure is primitive at best, and there is no biological evidence that this is anything remotely like the H5 N1 virus that caused the 1918 epidemic. With 25 million living in Mexico City in close quarters on a former swamp and a dubious water supply, this could be anything, even just the tail end of last year’s flu season. Almost all of these viruses originate in China, where they make the leap from pigs to humans, and then globally. But, still, try and buy a face mask at Longs Drug Store today. www.madhedgefundtrader.com

Bob leanards

May 15, 2009 05:10 AM

There has been a small outbreak of “zombism” in London due to mutation of the H1N1 virus into new strain: H1Z1.

Similar to a scare originally found in Cambodia back in 2005, victims of a new strain of the swine flu virus H1N1 have been reported in London.

After death, this virus is able to restart the heart of it’s victim for up to two hours after the initial demise of the person where the individual behaves in extremely violent ways from what is believe to be a combination of brain damage and a chemical released into blood during “resurrection.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the alert to phase six, its highest level, and advised governments to activate pandemic contingency plans.

In Mexico, the epicentre of the outbreak, President Felipe Calderon urged people to stay at home over the next five days.

There are many cases elsewhere - including the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Israel, and New Zealand.

BBC health correspondent Mark McGrith says the raising of the WHO alert on Wednesday suggests a global epidemic, or pandemic, is imminent.

In the latest developments:

* The Netherlands confirms its first case of zombie swine flu, in a three-year-old boy recently returned from Mexico. After passing away early this morning, he rose from the dead and lunged at his mother.
* Ghana has become the latest country to ban pork imports as a precaution against swine flu, though no cases have been found in the West African country
* China's health minister says that the country's scientists have developed a "sensitive and fast" test for spotting swine flu in conjunction with US scientists and the WHO. The country has recorded no incidence of the flu yet. There methods, however, have been uneffective in spotting the H1Z1 strain.

At the meeting of health ministers in Luxembourg, a French proposal for a continent-wide travel advisory for Mexico will be discussed.

It is unclear whether the EU executive has the power to impose a travel ban.

Several countries have restricted travel to Mexico and many tour operators have cancelled holidays.

Other members are resisting calls to implement travel bans or close borders, on the grounds - backed by the WHO - that there is little evidence of their efficacy.

The EU ministers will also try to agree on how to refer to the new virus.

The European Commission has been calling it "novel flu", replacing the word "swine" to avoid prompting a fall in demand for pork and bacon.

On Wednesday, Egypt began a mass slaughter of its pigs - even though the WHO says the virus was now being transmitted from human to human.

Post a comment

 

About

News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!