The WHO, no not the rock band, the World Health Organization has just raised the severity level of swine flu outbreak to phase 6, ie they've declared it a pandemic.

Now, before you rush off waving your arms in the air screaming "We're all going to die!!! We're all going to die!!!", take note of what this means. Phase 6 means that the swine flu virus is spreading in at least two regions of the world without any direct link to the original source. For the moment this is mainly in the southern hemisphere thanks to it being winter down there, but scientists will be watching it closely to see what we can expect up here in the north.

Hopefully the southern hemisphere peeps are rough and tough kick this virus to the ground quickly without too many casualties. It will be great if this just peters out to be a slightly more severe version of the common cold that will disappear without leaving much more than a huge imprint on the world's media for the 2009 year.

Only time will tell. In the mean time, now may be a good time to go dig out the pamphlet the government sent you recently and have a read.

If you've tossed it already, check out the HPA website.