Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Because I am a local official, I have been notified that the H1N1 flu virus has now formally been labeled a “global pandemic”. As a result an international conference will be held in Washington D.C. August 19-20. The conference will bring together world leaders in public health, business, science, first response, and non-profits. The purpose will be to focus on a response to a pandemic and prepare for a second wave of H1N1 virus this fall.
This is all well and good. The problem is they are labeling the conference the International Swine Flu Conference. My response to the Project Manager of the conference, Ms. Virginia Blanco is as follows.
I am in receipt of your communication of July 30 regarding the International H1N1 Flu Conference. In case you do not recognize the title I am using, please forgive me. However, this is the title YOU SHOULD BE USING. Swine have little to do with this influenza outbreak. The miss labeling of this influenza is causing untold damage to the hog industry of America. America's pork producers are in a world of hurt because of the economic downturn in the hog cycle. Then when our leaders, the officials at CDC, and the media continue to mislabel this influenza - it hurts us even more.

The Public Health officials and our state leaders in Minnesota have recognized this mistake. Our media have made a correction and are using the H1N1 label. The national media, Washington DC leaders, and Centers for Disease control have not recognized this error and they continue to do us harm.

I wish for you a very successful H1N1 Flu Conference. America's hog farmers will measure the success of it - by determining if an outcome will be the end of using the term "swine" when you are referring to the H1N1 virus.

Judy D. Hanson, Nicollet County Commissioner and pork producer end.


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