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The outbreak of swine flu has caused the World Health Organization to steadily raise its alert levels.  But what do they mean?  Weekly World News breaks it down.

Phase 1
Outbreak is contained within a single bedroom.  Ginger ale, chicken soup, and DVDs of Bridget Jones’ Diary and The Princess Bride are readily available.  Recommendation: saying ‘Bless you’ when patient sneezes.

Phase 2
Disease spreads to workplace through prolonged exposure with the infected.  Tissue boxes begin to become exhausted; toilet paper takes up the slack.  Recommendation: use as excuse to miss work.

Phase 3
Virulent agent has demonstrated resilience to all brands of decongestants.  Patients suspect drug company conspiracy to sell placebos for incurable ailment.  Recommendation: loss of patience, profanity.

Phase 4
Outbreak spreads to news outlets and human interest stories.  The public is warned not to be afraid, but ‘pandemic’ continues to be a really scary word.  Recommendation: water cooler conversation, unnecessarily canceling trips abroad.

Phase 5
Virus remains persistent and continues to mushroom in at least three distinct areas.  Symptoms become exaggerated by telephone game effect, and healthy people begin to fear the menace of purple monkey dishwasher.   Recommendation: cut off contact with outside world, barricade doors, stock up on canned goods, drink plenty of fluids.

Phase 6
Mankind is wiped out with the exception of Will Smith and a Brazilian supermodel.  Repopulation of race begins with exciting results.  Recommendation: keep cameras rolling and hope for a better day.