Public Health

We're Open To Suggestions: Name The Virus

Fiona Fleck, one of the World Health Organization's spokeswoman, has suggested that perhaps the mini-controversy over what to call this strain of flu could be settled by the public.

According to The New York Times: "Maybe, she suggested, there could be a competition, and members of the public could come up with a better name."

So, Flu Shots readers, let's take her up on her offer.

— Should it still be the "swine flu"?
— Or the very technical H1-N1 now preferred by the scientists and many elected leaders?
— Something else entirely?

The ever-irreverent Jon Stewart offers "Snoutbreak '09" as a possibility.

Update at 3:45 p.m. ET. Some of the best names so far.

Our thanks to those who've offered suggestions, either as comments on this post or over at Twitter (where you just need to add #NameThatFlu to a tweet for it to become part of the discussion) and Facebook. Here are some we especially like, starting with five from this post's comment thread:

— Snaflu — (suggested by anon ymous).
— The Virus formerly known as Swine Flu — (Memo Benumea).
— Unnecessarily-overhyped-uberfluenza — (Dylan Holycross).
— Influenza nervosa — (Susan Williams).
— SPAMdemic — (Bill Doyle).

— Hamageddon — (Paul, at Facebook).
— FARS — (Laura, at Facebook).
— The Baconic Plague — (Karl, at Facebook).
— Madsow — (Caged Heat, at Twitter).
— Wiburculosis — (ylifactory, at Twitter).

Update at 1:05 p.m. ET:

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NPR's Joanne Silberner about the switch to calling the disease the "2009 H1-N1 flu" earlier this week:

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