November 15, 2009

Flu scare turns Dutch into discriminating kissers

Filed under: Health by Branko Collin @ 1:48 pm

Almost 15% of the Dutch have become more selective in who they kiss because of the Swine flu.

A study held by vitamin sellers Centrum also shows that 7.5% avoid physical contact with others, Blik op Nieuws reports. Also, 6.3% have stopped shaking hands, and 1.4% have taken the ultimate step of no longer going to the office.

(Photo by Alex Erde, some rights reserved.)

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November 9, 2009

Dutch children say: way too much swine flu news

Filed under: Health,Science by Branko Collin @ 8:09 am

Fifty-one percent of all Dutch children think there is too much reporting on swine flu, with only 1% saying there is too little. Seventeen percent say news about swine flu scares them.

A poll held by Jeugdjournaal (kids’ TV news show) among more than 2,000 children and published yesterday also shows that 82% of the children are not afraid of swine flu.

Per year between 250 and 2,000 people die of the regular flu in the Netherlands. So far the swine flu has contributed to 17 deaths since the start of the outbreak last Spring, a little over 1 % of the known infections.

Swine flu is called Mexican flu in the Netherlands—vicious rumours suggest this may be so as not to upset the voters of government party CDA, many of whom presumably are pig farmers.

(Drawing by Ollie Crafoord, some rights reserved.)

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May 8, 2009

It’s ‘Swine flu’ not ‘Mexican flu’ embassy says

Filed under: Animals,General,Science by Orangemaster @ 2:46 pm

Although full of praise for the Netherlands in dealing with the flu situation, The Embassy of Mexico to the Kingdom of the Netherlands is displeased that the media and even Dutch governmental organisations are referring to the virus as the “Mexican flu”, and not “Swine flu” to appease the pork industry and animal rights activists that objected to the term “Swine flu”.

“The Embassy strongly rejects the use of the term ‘Mexican flu’. As evidence has shown, the virus’ initial outbreak in Mexico was merely circumstantial. Establishing a permanent association between the virus and Mexico is not only misleading, but also encourages discriminating attitudes towards Mexico and its people, that have already led to isolated incidents in the Netherlands, a country that prides itself of its tolerance and non-discriminatory values.”

Just blame Mexico. And there’s little old me trying to explain to Dutch friends that Mexico really is part of North America. I give up. A Mexican friend in Paris just this week told me she gave up long ago.

(Link: embamex-nl, via Taalpost, Photo:

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