Tonight on AC360°, we'll have the latest developments on H1N1. What's H1N1, you ask? That's the clinical name for the latest flu outbreak.
The World Health Organization announced today it would stop using the term "swine flu" to avoid confusion over the perceived danger posed by pigs. WHO will now refer to the illness as "H1N1 influenza A" after two of its genetic markers.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also opting for "H1N1."
Richard Besser, the CDC's Acting Director said today, "What we call this matters much less than what we do. We continue to be very aggressive in our approach and we're going to continue to do that until the situation tells us that we no longer need to do so."
The pork industry has been hit hard by reports of "swine flu", even though it's not spread by eating pork. That is important. Let me repeat it. "Swine flu" is not spread by eating pork.
"This flu is being called something that it isn't, and it's hurting our entire industry," said Dave Warner, communications director for the National Pork Producers Council.
But others disagree.
Dr. Raul Rabadan, a professor of computational biology at Columbia University told the Associated Press, six of the eight genetic segments of this virus strain are purely swine flu and the two other segments are bird and human.
"Scientifically this is a swine virus," said virologist Dr. Richard Webby to the AP. He's a researcher at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. He's also director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Studies on the Ecology of Influenza Viruses in Lower Animals and Birds.
Back at the WHO, while the health agency says it's dropping the term "swine flu", it seems the message hasn't been passed along to the folks who handle their web site. "Swine Flu" is still part of the internet address for the WHO.
What do you think of the name debate? Should it be called swine flu or not? Sound off below.
And, join us for the latest on the outbreak at 10pm ET.
See you then!
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