The government said Monday it will avoid using the term “hog cholera,” opting instead for “classical swine fever,” as officials hope to allay public concerns about the outbreak of the disease, which is harmless to humans.
“We will standardize the term ‘CSF’ to counter reputational damage” to the farming industry, as consumers tend to associate it with cholera, a different bacterial disease which can be life-threatening to humans, farm minister Taku Eto told an epidemic prevention meeting at his ministry.
While “classical swine fever” is an internationally used term, “hog cholera” began being used widely in the United States in the 19th century when there was also a cholera outbreak.
Humans cannot contract the pig disease, even if infected meat is consumed.
Japan has struggled to contain the epidemic, which has forced farmers in a dozen prefectures to cull their pigs since last year.