Push to drop 'swine' from Swine Flu underway - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Push to drop 'swine' from Swine Flu underway

SPOKANE, Wash. - So what's really in a name?

As more cases of swine flu pop up across the globe, some say the virus needs name change.

The pork industry fears it could kill sales, and Israeli Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the name is offensive to Jews and Muslims.

Rabbi Jonathan Kendall says he couldn't help but laugh when he heard the name change request. 

Kendall explains that people of both Jewish and Muslim faiths consider pigs unclean and forbid the eating of pork products, but he says the word "swine" is simply that: A word.

Israel's Litzman suggested calling it the Mexican Flu, naming it after the area that's seen the most serious outbreak.

Mexican officials complained about that name.

"Rather than spending time on nomenclature, we ought to be devoting ourselves exclusively to finding a vaccine that works before more people die," said Rabbi Kendall.

No matter what you call it, the swine flu is still a nasty bug.

You cannot get the swine, or H1N1, flu from eating pork products.

You could however get food poisoning if you're cooking pork and you don't get it up to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.