Naming the new flu

    Pennsylvania farmers are asking media outlets and the public to follow the Obama administration and stop calling the new flu virus, the swine flu

    As Pennsylvania waits to see if the swine flu has spread to the Commonwealth, farmers are making it clear that the new virus is affecting people, not pigs. Pennsylvania Farm Bureau spokesman Mark O’Neill says it’s safe to eat pork as long as it’s handled and cooked properly.
    (Pig photo: Flickr/Brent and MariLynn)

    O’Neill: Also I think it’s really important for people to understand that influenza or flu, is a respiratory health issue. It’s not transmissible by eating food products.

    O’Neill says misinformation has the potential to hurt pork producers. But says he’s encouraged by signals from the Obama administration. In recent days, US health officials seem to be deliberately referring to the new strain as the H1N1 virus, not the swine flu. Meanwhile O’Neil says the US Department of Agriculture has stepped up its monitoring of animal health to look for signs of the virus.

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