Saturday, June 27, 2009


Swine flu? H1N1? Rais now says ‘use both’

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim has suggested that both the “swine flu” and Influenza A(H1N1) terminologies be used by the media in reporting the disease.

This was a better and more accurate way of reporting the pandemic to the public, he said. He added that many international media organisations such as the British Broadcasting Corporation, Voice of America and Australian Broadcasting Corporation as well as search engines like Google and Yahoo were using the term swine flu.

“As a responsible ministry, we should use both terminologies when explaining the issue.

“We in the ministry will continue to use the easy-to-understand term. We will use the A(H1N1) terminology but for subsequent mentions, we will proceed with the term ‘swine flu’,” he told reporters after the launching of the “1Malaysia” logo by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak here.

Rais said it would be up to the Health Ministry if it wanted to continue using the term Influenza A(H1N1) as stipulated by the World Health Organisation.

He also called on the media not to play up the swine flu issue as it could negatively impact the country, particularly its tourism sector.

Too much publicity would give the wrong impression among the public that the disease was more serious than dengue, which is still on the rise, he said. — Bernama

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