JERUSALEM (AP) — The outbreak of swine flu
should be renamed "Mexican" influenza in deference to Muslim and Jewish
sensitivities over pork, said an Israeli health official Monday.
Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the
reference to pigs is offensive to both religions and "we should call
this Mexican flu and not swine flu," he told a news conference at a
hospital in central Israel.
Both Judaism and Islam consider pigs unclean and forbid the eating of pork products.
Scientists are unsure where the new swine flu
virus originally emerged, though it was identifed first in the United
States. They say there is nothing about the virus that makes it
"Mexican" and worry such a label would be stigmatizing