Oprah Winfrey's really annoyed her countless fans in India.
First, the much-adulated TV hostess called off her proposed visit to Goa, India in May 2009, citing fears of the HINI virus (swine flu)...even though at that point of time India didn't have a single case of HINI virus, while the US had over 11,000 confirmed cases.
Now Oprah's gone and made it worse. On July 4, she told a small gathering of hacks in New York that her fears of getting infected in India were well-founded. "I know the US has more swine flu cases than India," she said. "But that's only because India has so many other viruses that they kill off the HINI virus before it can hit anybody."
Her Indian fans are not amused. "We're really bugged. If anything, we in India should have been scared Oprah would bring swine flu with her from the US and infect us all," muttered Bugsy DeMello, an angry Indian fan in Goa, where Oprah was scheduled to visit a small temple of Hanuman, the monkey-god, on May 7.
Incidentally, as of July 4 the US has 33,902 cases of HINI (with 170 deaths); India has 104 cases, all living and all of them people who returned from the US or were in close contact with passengers from the US. [see http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/update.htm]
Oprah's unfazed, though. Asked whether she's being unfair on India, she replied: "India's a real unhealthy place...even for bugs like HINI."