In response to confirmed human cases of swine influenza A(H1N1) in Mexico and the United States and possible new cases inÃ‚ Canada and now Spain, a second meeting of the emergency committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) has been brought forward to later today to decide whether to raise the pandemic alert level, currently at 3 on a scale of 1 to 6. Yesterday the U.S. declared a public emergency as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 20 human cases of swine flu infection in five U.S. states. This followed SaturdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s announcement by WHO that the current situation constitutes a public health emergency of international concern and could become a pandemic. So far, Mexico is the only country to have reported deaths (103 at last count) from the virus. For more on this story check out todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s article by Donald McNeil Jr in the New York Times. For more information on swine flu check out this WHO FAQ. Dr. Steven Weisbart, I.I.I.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s chief economist and resident pandemic expert can be reached via email at: email@example.com.