This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the Swine Flu has covered enough of the globe to qualify as the first pandemic in over 40 years. The formal announcement made this Thursday doesn’t mean the flu strain has become any more lethal, just that it has spread beyond any ability to contain it across the globe. Swine flu has afflicted 29,000 people so far across nearly 80 countries worldwide. Luckily, the strain isn’t hyper-virulent and most folks who contract the illness require conventional medical treatment for their mild symptoms. The WHO have urged pharmaceutical maufacturers to produce stockpiles of anti-viral medication and governments have been working on developing vaccination programs to protect populations from easy transmission of the virus. Although the first pandemic of the 21st Century seems to be mild by historical standards, the sheer number of people infected across the globe represents a serious burden on healthcare systems and underscores the insatiable demand for healthcare and healthcare support providers in a world with a burgeoning population.