THREE people in China have died from the plague, if anyone's interested, the World Health Organisation said last night.
WHO officials stressed that it was not as if some Mexicans had got the flu and was really nothing to worry about.
A spokesman said: "It's only China. Even if they were to close their borders you're still just talking about a risk to maybe a billion people, 1.3 billion at a push.
"If – somehow – it was able to spread to nearby countries, it's still only 72 million Koreans, 128 million Japanese, 140 million Russians and about a billion Indians. And India is totally set-up to deal with plague, so we're not fussed."
He added: "It's not as if the western world is importing huge amounts of stuff made by undernourished Chinese peasants in dirty factories."
In Britain health officials stressed that plague was really easy to handle as the carrier fleas would not bite you if you had recently washed your hands or blown your nose into a fresh handkerchief.
Dr Tom Logan, of the British Medical Association, said: "If you've been to China recently and are feeling a bit plaguey, eat an apple, maybe drink some Lucozade, but otherwise go to work as normal and feel free to rub yourself against people on the tube."
A department of health spokesman added: "Meh, it's just a bit of plague. Here in Britain we have a proud history of plague immunity, or 'Black Death' to give it its comedy nickname."