The popular name, swine flu, offends Jews, Muslims, and hog farmers. The scientific name, 2009 H1-N1, lacks brand personality.* So National Public Radio is asking listeners to Name That Flu. Madsow? Wilburculosis? Hamagaddon? Commenters have been weighing in; a serious contender is "Factory Farm Flu," whose nominator says "brings attention to the most critical factor in the virus' genesis, not to mention a source of vast pollution and suffering." A couple of people have suggested SNAflu (Swine North American Flu). I like Fluzapalooza (because I love me some paloozas!), but I'm especially impressed by the verse contributed by Kristina Hetherington, who works for the University of Utah Division of Infectious Diseases. The poem reads, in part:
but now you'll get it from a hog.
And from a kiss. Do not dismiss.
You may not get it on a boat--
you may not get it from a goat.
And from a pony? I'm no phony.
You get the flu from a duck,
folks get the flu from dumb luck.
Flu is passed in bird's turds..
the turds of birds?! I'm so disturbed!
You may get flu from in your house,
but you'll get Hanta from a mouse.
Better ideas? Spread 'em around. And then wash your hands.
Hat tip: Brand Mix, which features six flu-ish items in this week's link roundup.
* I suggested on Twitter that we turn H1N1 into l33tspeak and call it the Heeny Flu. Good idea, wrong pronunciation, said a couple of followers: it should be "Heinie," especially if diarrhea is involved.