EU approves rules on how to identify ‘novel’ swine flu

April 30th, 2009 - 9:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Luxembourg, April 30 (DPA) The European Union’s executive Thursday approved a set of rules for identifying the new form of swine flu as part of its bid to stop the disease raging out of control.
The European Commission has “adopted a common European definition for the novel flu virus”, a disease which “has been found to contain genes from pig, bird and human influenza viruses, in a combination that has never been observed before anywhere in the world”, the commission said in a statement.

Officials hope that the definition of the disease will make it easier for medics to identify any new cases at an early stage.

It will also “enable more efficient compilation of comparable information on the novel flu virus at European level by ensuring that we are all talking about the same things,” EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said in the statement.

The announcement came as EU health ministers held emergency talks in Luxembourg on the spread of the disease.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, EU officials have insisted that the disease should be called “novel flu”, not “swine flu”, in a bid to reassure citizens that it is safe to eat pork.

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