Government scientists have issued a warning of the potential of a major outbreak of health scare stories in national and international media as autumn hits the northern hemisphere. The first suggestions have already been found with reports in major media outlets of two poorly people in the middle east with suspected sightings of people feeling a bit under the weather all over the world.
A spokesman for the WHO is quoted as saying "With the large international gatherings of journalists paid to find sensationalist stories that are the norm today, the potential for contamination is enormous and what starts off as a casual remark by a doctor of 'having seen someone with a bad flu' can quickly turn into an outbreak of scare stories of biblical proportions."
Symptoms to look out for are severe headlines in tabloids and broadsheets, pressure on government ministers to react to events that have not yet occured, interviews with senior scientists and mentions of "the Spanish flu epidemic that killed more people than died in World War One". Pregnant women, young children and the elderly are particularly advised to avoid contact with media until the epidemic has passed.