Somebody alert the World Health Organization – the swine flu has been discovered in Azeroth.

Even in World of Warcraft, you can’t escape the swine flu pandemic hysteria. As discovered by a few WoW players, the disease exists in Azeroth, too. This isn’t another attempt at being topical and pop culture-y that you often find in Blizzard games, this is a genuine disease that you can get in the game that has actually existed since the Wrath of the Lich King beta.

The WoW Swine Flu is an ability possessed by the Unliving Swine, an enemy in the Borean Tundra area of Northrend. When you hit the pig with a melee attack, it has an 8% chance to infect you with the disease, which will trigger an effect called “Outbreak” that reduces your movement speed by 30% and hits you for 120 natural damage every 2 seconds. “The fever has come over you,” the effect description reads.

Fortunately since you have to actually walk up to a pig and smack it to catch the disease, this won’t be cause for any kind of outbreak through Azeroth, which has actually seen its fair share of in-game pandemics before.

Naturally, WoW players have taken the spell as an occasion to make all sorts of silly jokes. Pointing out that swine flu has a history beyond the current pandemic, user yawgmoth joked: “What a crappy proc rate, once every 38 years?” Meanwhile, snugglebear just had to go there and say it: “This is not popular on the Latin/Mexican servers.” Okay, really?


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