The influenza virus spreading around the world should not be called swine flu says the World Animal Health body. A more logical name for it would be "North American influenza", a name based on its geographic origin, the group suggests.
The organization points out that the virus that is responsible for the current outbreak also contains avian and human components. In addition, no pigs were found ill with the disease as of Monday.
"The virus has not been isolated in animals to date,” the Paris-based organization said in a statement. “Therefore, it is not justified to name this disease swine influenza."
Fears of the outbreak are growing around the world after 103 people were killed in Mexico and new infections were found in the United States and Canada. Possible cases from Europe, Israel and New Zealand have been reported.
The OIE warned that if the virus was shown to cause disease in animals, disease spread could worsen and further hurt fragile world economies. Grain and oilseed markets fell sharply on concern that the outbreak could reduce feed demand for pigs.