It would seem that people do need to be told that you can't get swine flu from butchered pork. You'd think they'd know better, but no.
Pork farmers struggle due to swine flu (BBC News)
As the World Health Organisation says the swine flu outbreak has moved closer to becoming a global pandemic, a number of states have put a ban on the import of pork from affected countries. China, Russia and South Korea have banned imports of some North American pork, despite assurances that the flu is not spread through meat. This includes imports from the United States, which is one of the world's biggest pork exporters. The pork industry is a very big part of economies in the midwestern states like Nebraska...
Pork Producers Ache From Swine Flu
By CURT THACKER
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Declining hog prices amid the swine-flu outbreak could spawn losses of more than a quarter of a billion dollars and be the last straw for some U.S. pork producers. Cash hog prices have fallen $3 to $5 per hundredweight this week. Nearby May lean-hog futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange have fallen about 8.55 cents since Friday, a 12% drop, on fears that consumers will shun pork, even though the disease hasn't been found in pigs. On Wednesday, May lean hogs settled at 60.45 cents a pound, down 2.85 cents, or 4.5%. [...] U.S. hog producers have lost money in 16 of the past 18 months, and they needed prices to be profitable during the spring and summer. Cases of swine flu, however, have led to import bans by some countries on pork produced in a number of U.S. states and Mexico.
Swine flu has been confirmed in seven deaths in Mexico, and is suspected of killing more than 150 people there. The U.S. reported its first death from swine flu on Wednesday, and 91 cases have been confirmed in 10 states. The A/H1N1 virus contains genetic information from three different influenza forms -- swine, bird and human. The disease is transmitted from human to human.
U.S. government officials are considering a change to the disease's current moniker. Swine flu makes some people think they can get the disease from pigs or pork, said acting CDC Director Richard Besser. "That's not helpful to pork producers. That's not helpful to people who eat pork," he said....
Of course, at this point, a name change would do nothing. After all, the government would need to tell people that they were changing the name for it to be meaningful, and then people would say, "So, Mexican flu type a1, that was the swine flu, right? And we're having a new outbreak? So I just won't eat pork, then and I'll be safe!" (And you so know that if they change the name, they'll change it from the species to the location of most recent origin. You know they will. Though that doesn't seem to bother people. When we have outbreaks of the Hong Kong flu, people don't seem to think that avoiding Hong Kong will help. And nobody seems to think that if people had just avoided Spain during the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918, all would have been well. So maybe a name change will do something ... eventually. Not this year, though.Posted by iain at April 30, 2009 03:30 PM