ericauchard1- Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –

If you look no further than the latest headlines, you might think a worldwide flu pandemic was already underway with a very real threat to millions of lives.

While there are many unanswered questions early on in the outbreak of flu from Mexico, it is crucial to remember that the number of deaths and reported infections remain small — even if its spread across the globe has proved worryingly rapid.

While the infected need access to medical care and anti-viral drugs, the rest of the world needs an inoculation against scary statistics and misinformation.

The Internet Age allows facts and rumour to spread almost instantaneously. But knowing of outbreaks across the globe must not be confused with risks of catching the disease.

Already in this outbreak, Lebanon’s health minister has called for a halt to the national custom of greeting one another with kisses. Several countries including Russia and China have banned pork imports from Mexico and parts of the United States in the belief that meat could spread the flu.