Infestations of bedbugs have unfold across New York and no-one is aware of where they will turn up upcoming.
In current days there has been a buzz of exercise within the UN's corridors of energy: intense discussions within the hallways, reporters conferring in hushed tones, a flurry of e-mails.
Would be the Palestinians about to declare statehood? Could be the Safety Council about to authorise a army strike on Iran? Is civil war breaking out once again in Sudan?
Nope. A little something of considerably higher import if you are a UN correspondent: a creeping infestation of bedbugs.
This is a scourge presently afflicting New York, together with the bugs running rampant through accommodations and, if one believes the rather hysterical media coverage, spreading in an uncontrolled contagion to buildings these as theatres, stores, eating places and households.
Now, bedbugs are usually not unsafe or life-threatening, despite the fact that their bites itch and sting.
The true ache is, after a place is infested, a serious and high-priced fumigation approach is necessary to have rid of them.
A month back, the UN as a final point admitted it had been battling the blood-sucking pests in numerous parts of its sprawling office complex for more than a year.
So their eventual discovery within the UN media centre had an air of grim inevitability about it.
You can find just one way to sniff out bedbugs - with canines. If a canine smells a bedbug, she or he will bark.
So in the demand in the UN press corps, Rover (or some version of him) was enlisted, and we waited with bated breath for that results.
The e-mail came at midnight and yes - unlike the renowned Sherlock Holmes story wherein the canine isn't going to bark within the evening time - this time, it did (in two studios, no much less).
And one of them was ours. Oh the shame. Oh the horror.
But what to do?
At first we had extremely peaceful conversations about fumigation, attempting to delay the inevitable publicity. It was hopeless.
We agreed that worse than the BBC possessing bedbugs will be for that BBC to cover up possessing mattress bugs.
In any case, all people previously knew. That's one in the banes of working inside a media centre where journalists have a Rover-like nose for tales.
Some turned it right into a joke.
One particular threw caution on the wind and knocked on our door to specific solidarity: "I know what it seems like to become stigmatised," he stated, "I've had bedbugs."
But most gave the BBC office a large berth.
In panic, I turned to my husband.
He was dismissive. This terror of bedbugs is ludicrous, he stated. It really is all element in the culture of anxiety in America, the latest version of "reds beneath the bed". 1st it was communists, then Obama the Islamist terrorist, and now bedbugs.