Florida woman Irma Kowalski faces the death penalty if convicted on bio-terrorism charges after knowingly spreading the feared cold virus.
Florida State Police Department were flooded with calls after Mrs Kowalski was seen sneezing, coughing, and blowing her nose in a reckless manner whilst walking through a Florida shopping mall.
"We sent Mrs Kowalski's handkerchief to the boys at the lab," said Police Commissioner Mel Gibson. "And it looks like Mrs Kowalski has blown it. Tests have since proved she is indeed infected with the cold virus. We're appealing to the public not to panic. The handkerchief has been destroyed. Extra stocks of Night Nurse and Soluble Aspirin are being shipped in as a precaution. There's no need for alarm."
But it's clear that the police department are unsure as to the exact source of Mrs Kowalski's viral infection. So far they have failed to scotch rumours that the virus may have been stolen from one of America's top-secret biochemical research facilities.
"I can't comment on that," commented a government official yesterday.
Ironically, it's this lack of firm guidance from the authorities that make bio-weapons such as the cold virus most effective. Many Americans have taken to hiding themselves away, only venturing outside their houses to buy essentials such as hamburgers, apple pie, and Vic chest rub.
"The Americans are staying put," said Mrs Alma Fudgebucket from her deserted guesthouse in picturesque Cumbria. "Which is funny because they were over here like flies around the honey pot during the war. I suppose these days the yanks are really feared of cold viruses. They're certainly feared of everything else."