Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Swine flu virus soft toy for sale on internet:

A swine flu soft toy has gone on sale on the internet - to help educate and reassure children about the potentially deadly virus.

Published: 11:42AM BST 01 Sep 2009

The stuffed toy has been designed to represent a "cuddlier" version of an H1N1 microbe, complete with a pig-like nose and eyes.

The 7inch novelty is the latest creation of US-based doll company GIANTmicrobes, which specialises in producing huggable viruses and pests.

The firm's catalogue include soft toy interpretations of a range of sexually-transmitted infections including gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia.

It also sells furry representations of bed bugs, mad cow disease, E.Coli, Ebola and MRSA.

The company describes its toys as "great learning tools, as well as amusing gifts for anyone with a sense of humour". Each purchase comes with an information leaflet with details of the relevant infection.

The swine flu dolls are even for sale in the gift shop at the Atlanta, headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control, the US government agency charged with monitoring the outbreak.

The toy, which is priced at $7.95, is available to British shoppers from the GIANTmicrobes website.

New swine flu cases are falling in Britain, but medics are predicting a second wave of the virus as temperatures fall in the Autumn. The number of UK deaths linked to the virus currently stands at 66.

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