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Ok. You’re worried about Swine Flu and you want to find a local company that has something that will prevent it. You “turn on the Internet” and do a Web search for the terms “anti-virus” and “Clearwater, FL.”

What’s the first thing that pops up? “Antivirus and Antispyware Software – Anti-Malware & Email …” Sounds like a serious business! You click on that link and find a phone number.

You go right to the top and call Vice President for Threat Research and Technologies Michael St. Neitzel: “Hello. Does Vipre protect against the Swine Flu?”

Sunbelt Software Vice President for Threat Research and Technologies Michael St. Neitzel will then explain that Vipre is an anti-COMPUTER-virus solution.

I’m not making this up! Someone just did this!

Yea, it’s sadly funny, but it’s also an indication of the very high level of concern about the spreading strain of Swine Flu influenza. This thing is a potential pandemic. Public health authorities are worried that it POSSIBLY could mutate into something deadly.

Spammers saw this coming on Monday.

Spam with headlines claiming that celebrities (Salma Hayek, Madonna) have caught the disease are peddling generic Tamiflu – or stealing the credit card numbers of those naïf enough to make a purchase from one of the nearly 300 newly-registered domains with a “Swine Flu” twist in their name. Cisco’s IronPort anti-spam service says Swine Flu spam is now four percent of global spam.

Spam that preys on public fears generated by big news stories is now a genre. Seriously, just delete the alarming e-mails, wash your hands a lot and don’t sneeze in elevators.

See Information week’s coverage here.