Sunday, May 3, 2009

Maybe We Should Take the Swine Out of Swine Flu

Thomas Riggins

According to this AP report from Cairo the WHO says "swine flu" cannot be transmitted by pigs. The Egyptian government and its Parliament, which passed a law requiring all pigs in Egypt to be killed have made fools of themselves by ignoring all the scientific evidence presented by the WHO. The law is really aimed at the Coptic Christian minority as they are only ones who farm pigs. Even the two Christian MPs voted for the law, but they did so to prevent Christians being scape goated should the flu arrive in Egypt-- so far there are 0 cases.

Egypt's call to kill pigs amid flu scare ridiculed

01/05/2009 [don't me misled by the date-- the rest of the world uses dd/mm/year]
CAIRO (AP) - Egypt's government was hoping to look strong and proactive in the swine flu scare with its decision to slaughter all the country's pigs, after taking heavy criticism at home for poor planning and corruption in past crises.
But instead, some Egyptians called the move a knee-jerk overreaction that even the World Health Organization said was unnecessary.

Egypt, which has no swine flu cases, is the only country in the world to order a mass pig slaughter in response to the disease. The move mirrored Egypt's battle with bird flu, in which the government killed 25 million birds within weeks in 2006.

But international health officials said the swine flu virus that has caused worldwide fear is not transmitted by pigs, and that pig slaughters do nothing to stop its spread. The WHO on Thursday stopped using the term "swine flu" to avoid confusion.

In Egypt, even the editor of a pro-government newspaper criticized the order to slaughter the estimated 300,000 pigs, which was pushed by parliament and issued by the government.

"Killing (pigs) is not a solution, otherwise, we should kill the people, because the virus spreads through them," wrote Abdullah Kamal of the daily Rose El-Youssef. "The terrified members of parliament should have concentrated on asking the government first about the preventive measures and ways of confronting the problem."