A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

introducing Mr. “formerly known as swine flu”

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 1, 2009

Yesterday I received the latest warden message from the United States Embassy in Kuwait. (As long-time readers know, I was never able to successfully register myself for the US Embassy in Lebanon’s warden updates, but like Old Faithful, I receive a steady stream of messages from the embassies in Damascus and Kuwait.)

For those of you currently in Kuwait, the hotlines listed might be useful. For the rest of you – including those who, like me, have been scrubbing their hands like never before – the Embassy’s PR effort may be the most interesting tidbit. Here’s the start of the release:

This Warden Message alerts U.S. citizens to the latest information regarding human cases of H1N1 Influenza A, formerly known as swine flu.  The Kuwait Department of Health has reported that airport authorities have begun screening passengers arriving from countries with reported cases of H1N1.  The Kuwait Department of Health has set up an influenza hotline staffed with medical professionals who speak Arabic and English to answer Kuwait specific questions about travel regulations and health issues related to this influenza.  The hotline numbers are 2486-4936 and 2486-4930 or by fax at 2486-5892; the numbers are currently staffed from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

That’s right: what I and my fellow neurotic New Yorkers are doing our best to prevent, despite the inherent germiness of subway seats, stairway rails, elevators, and – let’s face it – one another, is catching a virus now “formerly known as swine flu”.

I certainly understand the economic and religious/cultural impact of naming a virus after pigs, but: in New York, we’re still calling it swine flu.

Glad to know that the Kuwaitis are so enlightened, though 🙂 .


4 Responses to “introducing Mr. “formerly known as swine flu””

  1. […] introducing Mr. “formerly known as swine flu” […]

  2. intlxpatr said

    I died laughing when the Israelis wouldn’t call in swine flu, and I wondered what the rest of the non-pig-eating countries would call it. Some in Kuwait are calling it “piggy flu”

  3. intlxpatr said

    Hee hee hee – sounds like a line from a Buddy Holly song . . . “if you knew . . .piggy flu . . . then you’d know why I feel blue about piggy! my piggy flu, ooo ooo ooooo oooo oooo ooooo”

  4. loooool but from a halal/kashrut perspective, how is “piggy flu” (aside from its cuteness) an improvement over “swine flu”?

    love the song. if I find any “songwriting the swine flu” contests I am definitely entering you :)!

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