No More Swine Flu: WHO

H1N1 influenza A is the new swine flu. 

The World Health Organization said Thursday they are ending the use of the term "swine flu" to spare millions of pigs across the world.

The WHO will now use the virus's much harder to say scientific name, H1N1 influenza A.

WHO spokesman Dick Thompson said the flu name change comes after the agriculture industry and the U.N. food agency expressed concerns that the term "swine flu" was misleading consumers and needlessly causing countries to order the slaughter of pigs.

On Wednesday, Egypt began slaughtering its roughly 300,000 pigs as precaution, even though experts said H1N1 influenza A is not spread by eating pork.

WHO raised the pandemic flu alert to phase 5 on Wednesday, one step away from the highest level indicating a global outbreak. WHO flu chief Keiji Fukuda said Thursday there were no indications in the past day that would prompt the U.N. body to raise the alert further.

To move from pandemic alert level 5 to level 6 means that WHO believes there is evidence of big outbreaks in at least two world regions and a pandemic is under way.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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