We already know that the swine flu–RUN FOR THE HILLS!–has the potential to be a pandemic (just like Avian flu, Hong Kong flu, and Cindy Lu Flu before it). If that wasn’t bad enough, now we find out that it’s religiously offensive as well. From the AP:
Israeli official: Swine flu name offensive
JERUSALEM (AP) — The outbreak of swine flu should be renamed “Mexican” influenza in deference to Muslim and Jewish sensitivities over pork, said an Israeli health official Monday.
Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the reference to pigs is offensive to both religions and “we should call this Mexican flu and not swine flu,” he told a news conference at a hospital in central Israel.
Both Judaism and Islam consider pigs unclean and forbid the eating of pork products.
Scientists are unsure where the new swine flu virus originally emerged, though it was identifed first in the United States. They say there is nothing about the virus that makes it “Mexican” and worry such a label would be stigmatizing.