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Ebola Virus explained

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W.H.O. Gives Virus a Name That’s More Scientific and Less Loaded

On Wednesday, the new disease affecting thousands of people in Mexico and more than 100 in the United States and other countries was called swine influenza. By Thursday, the “S word” had been banned: A sentence in a box at the very top of the home page of the World Health Organization said, “From today, W.H.O. will refer to the new influenza virus as influenza A(H1N1).”

At the organization’s news conference in Geneva on Thursday, its deputy director general, Dr. Keiji Fukuda, dutifully referred to the virus as “H1N1,” slipping only once. Just two days earlier, Dr. Fukuda had declared that the new virus was a swine influenza virus and that the organization had no plans to call it anything other than what it was.
 
 

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