New Zealand and Israel confirmed cases of swine flu on Tuesday, the latest countries hit by a new strain that has killed up to 149 people in Mexico and threatens to become a pandemic.
The World Health Organisation has raised its alert level to phase 4, indicating a significantly increased risk of pandemic. Global markets tumbled for a second day on Tuesday on fears the outbreak could snuff out fragile signs of economic recovery.
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.