On 23 May 2009 the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on more than 12,000 cases of infl uenza A (H1N1) in 44 countries, including Taiwan. Two days later a total of 86 deaths had occurred in four countries. 1 National and global media talked of the danger of a pandemic. Mexican citizens were obliged to stay at home for a week, tourists in Hong Kong had to remain in quarantine and Egypt killed off its pig stock, as pigs were considered to be the transmitter of the virus. National health authorities were reporting to the WHO, which in turn ensured fast global distribution of relevant information. However, member states disagreed with its interpretation of a pandemic and demanded that more criteria were met before going to a higher level of alert.