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Call It Mexican Flu

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 28th, 2009

In Israel, where there is one suspected case, the deputy health minister, Yakov Litzman, said the disease will not be known as swine flu, because religious Jews do not eat pork. “We will call it Mexico flu. We won’t call it swine flu,” he said. ~ Guardian.

What are they calling the flu in New Zealand, where the number of cases has skyrocketed to 60 today?

The flu virus spreading globally should not be called “swine flu” as it also contains avian and human components and no pig allegedly has been found ill with the disease so far, a French group, the World Animal Health says.

A more logical name for it would be “North-American influenza,” a name based on its geographic origin just like the Spanish influenza, another human flu pandemic with an animal origin that killed more than 50 million people in 1918-1919, notes WAH.

“The virus has not been isolated in animals to date. Therefore it is not justified to name this disease swine influenza,” the Paris-based organization said in a statement, according to the Guardian.

But Mexican Flu is more logical, of course, and more closely identifies the country most people associate with this outbreak.

This strain of “swine flu,” we are told, is “A/N1H1.” That is intriguingly, since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic was caused by an unusually virulent and deadly Influenza A virus strain of subtype H1N1. Also, worthy of noting, the Spanish Flu allegedly began in Fort Riley, Kansas. In the United States the disease was first observed at Fort Riley, Kansas, United States, on March 4, 1918.

Then why is it called “Spanish flu”?

The origins of the name has everything to do with the media. Spain had freedom of the press, and it lead to correct and complete information about the epidemic being published. The Allies of World War I came to call it the Spanish flu, primarily because the pandemic received greater press attention after it moved from France to Spain in November 1918. Spain was not involved in the war and had not imposed wartime censorship.

Interesting.

Meanwhile, on the political front, my state’s senator is getting a lot of media notice during the run-up to this possible new pandemic. Maine Senator Susan Collins, the supposedly moderate but known locally as a strident, attention-seeking politician, had demanded cuts in health care spending in exchange for her support of a watered-down version of the stimulus. At the time, she complained about the pandemic funding: “Does it belong in this bill? Should we have $870 million in this bill. No, we should not.”

As recently as this weekend, Collins’ official website highlighted the fact that she led the fight to strip the pandemic preparedness money out of the Senate’s version of the stimulus measure. The emergency services that would necessarily be on the frontlines in any effort to contain a pandemic got no funding in the $50 million for improving information systems at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Senate version of the stimulus plan included no money whatsoever for pandemic preparedness.

Ooops.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


12 Responses to “Call It Mexican Flu”

  1. kittenz responds:

    I make no bones about it: I am a liberal. Probably should make that Liberal with a capitol L. I fail to see how a country can go wrong by investing in preventative health measures to protect its people. Most people in this country are extremely dependent on commerce. Any disease that spreads so quickly that it impedes interstate commerce will be devastating for millions of people, in America and around the world.

  2. cryptidsrus responds:

    That was the first time I knew that there up to 60 possible cases of swine flu in NZ, Loren. I did not know that. Last time I looked in CNN and FOX, they were saying it was 8. Thanks for this.

  3. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Hehe… I like you Kittenz…

    Here in Texas, Rick Perry, who declined federal funds for unemployment and decried the “rampant spending” is now calling for the federal government to send us several thousand doses of tamiflu…

  4. red_pill_junkie responds:

    I personally don’t see any problem calling this the ‘Mexican flu’ epidemic. Sure they would be some morons who will seize the opportunity to make fun of the Mexican people, but “que será, será” —Speedy Gonzalez has given us plenty of practice to deal with stereotypes :)

    No, my obsession lies in HOW and WHERE did this outbreak begin.

    The flu virus spreading globally should not be called “swine flu” as it also contains avian and human components and no pig allegedly has been found ill with the disease so far, a French group, the World Animal Health says.

    This is something where I also have a hard time understanding, and if our friend Loren can help us out, that will be great. So far, none of the medical experts that have been interviewed in the Mexican radio & television have said that this virus strand has swine, avian & human elements. They insist this is a new mutated strand that jumped from pigs to humans (HOW nobody is willing to speculate right at the moment) and now at this level 4 threat declared by the WHO, from humans to humans.

    So, what’s this about the virus having also avian elements? Some people use this to speculate that the virus has been engineered as a biological weapon, and from there you effortlessly jump to any kind of NWO conspiracy theories :-/

  5. kgehrman responds:

    Why not just call it the Fowl Swineman Flu and stop with geological references.

  6. red_pill_junkie responds:

    I’ve investigated a bit, and indeed, it would seem that this new virus strand has two types of swine , avian & human elements. So kgerhrman’s pic is awfully appropriate.

    Will this new danger help us reconsider our reckless industrial farming techniques? Or are the lives of a few hundred Mexicans a small price to pay for our beloved chicken wings & ham sandwiches? :(

  7. NightFlight responds:

    Kittenz, having worked for a major pharmaceutical company, I can tell you that they fight tooth and nail to stop any mention of government sponsored healthcare. This would place unwanted scrutiny of their drugs and profits and believe me, profits are huge! Looking back, though, when then first lady Hillary Clinton was trying to get her version of health care pushed through, All the drug companies started positioning themselves to supply medicines to the government. Profits are profits no matter how or where they are obtained.

    Lets start calling this strain of flu “Crypto-flu”.

  8. kittenz responds:

    I don’t care what they call it, as long as we don’t end by calling it Captain Trips.

  9. flame821 responds:

    Red_Pill

    I would like to see huge changes to the industrial farming business, but with the world population growing as quickly as it is, I don’t see that happening any time soon. Homesteading (growing your own veggies, raising a few fowl) is probably your safest bet for the time being.

    Scientists and Infection Specialist have been worrying about swine involvement for quite a while now. Swine (Porcine) have a great deal of DNA in common with humans. When the Bird Flu was constantly in the news many scientists fears that a pig would contract the bird flu and then pass it onto humans in a more virulent and easier spread version. Here is a science blog site that is keeping up on all the changes and updates.

    Cough into your elbow, not hand. Wash your hands often and keep a hand sanitizer around for when you can’t get to soap. Keep your hands away from your face. Rest, keep hydrated and hope for the best.

  10. KristyBeast responds:

    Heh. My cousin started calling it Captain Tripps a few days ago. That was when I got nervous. =P

  11. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Thank you for the concern, flame821. I must acknowledge that the Mexican government has done a good job reminding the public about all those hygiene procedures, through radio, TV and newspaper ads.

    Nothing like a good pandemic to bring out the OCD in you ;-)

  12. sschaper responds:

    I recall seeing on a PBS show a few years ago that the Spanish Lady began to be noticed in Europe in the barracks after the cessation of hostilities. It incubated in those conditions for a few months and then the troops brought it home.

    The term “Spanish Lady” appears to have come from a newspaper cartoon.

    The Avian Influenza is still in the incubating phase, how virulent it will be when it hops from hogs to human to human transmission, I don’t know. It already has hopped from birds to hogs to people, but you don’t have a pandemic until you get a virulent strain that is easily transmissible.



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