mexico strongly rejects the use of the term “mexican flu”

The Embassy of Mexico to the Kingdom of the Netherlands would like to show its appreciation for all expressions of solidarity of the Dutch people and the country’s institutions with Mexico, during the difficult days that came as a result of the emergence of the A/H1N1 human influenza virus.

In this context, it was surprising to note that media, members of society and even some governmental organizations in the Netherlands have begun to refer to the virus as the “Mexican flu”, as a result of concerns of 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.

The Embassy therefore urges the use of the scientific term “A/H1N1” or the more colloquial “New flu”, as approved by the World Health Organization.

The Hague, 3 May 2009