The World Health Organization could raise its pandemic alert level to phase 4 or 5 as a deadly swine flu outbreak shows no signs of slowing.
What does this mean?
The WHO designates six phases of pandemic alert for informing the world of the seriousness of the threat and the need to launch more intense preparations and measures.
We’re currently at phase 3. A full-blown pandemic, level 6, denotes sustained, human-to-human spread over many countries of a new and serious virus.
Here are details of the six phases, along with the possible impact on financial markets: