As the swine flu hysteria turns hysterical, the good folks of the internet have been trying to help the World unHealth Organisation pin down a really good name for swine flu.
Israel was first off the starting blocks, complaining that as pork is not kosher then language itself has to be changed. In the tradition of blaming the wrong target they chose to call it Mexico flu. Can a virus be kosher?
The US administration has tried for days to ban the offensive "swine" from the media but without any effect. Calling it Baxter flu was off the menu.
Finally the WHO stepped in to officially call it the A(H1N1) virus. So what's wrong with pigs? They didn't rename avian flu. Actually, this isn't a rebranding but has been the scientific name for some time. However, it does hide the fact that this strain has 4 different genetic components.
One problem with suddenly renaming a virus with such public health spotlight is that most information will already have the "swine flu" tag, so people searching for A(H1N1) are likely to find less diverse information.
Anyway, into the breach steps the ever-inventive denizens of the internet with a better name: Hamthrax.
Great name! Can't trace where Hamthrax came from, but who cares - better than the mouth-twisting A(H1N1), right?