Monday, April 27, 2009

Couldn't They Have Called it the Mexican Flu

This blog is all about my worlds colliding. So, here we are at swine meets PR meets health care.

Let me start by wearing my agri-PR hat and saying:
  1. There is no evidence at this time that the virus is in U.S. swine. (USDA)
  2. Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food so you cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. (USDA)
  3. This virus is different, very different from that found in pigs. (NPPC)

And now for my health care PR spiel, courtesy of the CDC.

  1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  4. Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
Lastly, a note about branding. Anyone who thinks that naming and branding aren't important should talk to the people at Smithfield who saw their stock pummeled today. An emphasis on geography rather than an old-fashioned name for certain symptoms, and people would be afraid of Taco Bell--not pork chops.

UPDATE: Looks like H1N1 virus is the new flu name being slowly adopted. The New York Times has an interesting article about the naming of the flu and theories that it actually started in Asia. Also, want to point out that I am sleeping with the hottest "get" in southwest Ohio. Husband has declined two media interviews.

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