David Ryan, from Chiswick, is at the centre of a worrying health scare today having become the first person in Britain to be admitted to hospital diagnosed with full-blown PAS – Pointless Adverb Syndrome. Mr Ryan, a recruitment agency owner, was being interviewed on local radio when he became unable to say anything but the word ‘so’.

Presenter, Alan Thompson, said: ‘Every question I asked him he started his answer with a completely unnecessary and inappropriate ‘so’. I didn’t think a lot of it really because nearly all jumped up self-important idiots and business people do that these days. You know, like those berks on The Apprentice?’

However as the interview progressed things took a turn for the worse and a clearly shaken Alan continued:

‘I then asked another question and he just started to repeat ‘so’ over and over again. So-so-so-so, just like that. He was unable to say anything else. It was scary. A production assistant called for an ambulance which arrived quickly and he was rushed to the isolation ward. I can only pray to God that I haven’t been infected.’

Fears for a catastrophic outbreak of PAS come hot on the heels, of what some would say, is already a lost battle against UIS – Upward Inflection Sickness – which reached our shores from Australia during the past decade. This is now widespread and there is no known cure.

Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt, was playing down fears and urged the public to remain calm. Speaking on Sky News he said: ‘We shouldn’t panic but remain vigilant. If you have an estate agent, a junior manager, a scientist or maybe a university professor within you family keep a close eye on them and seek immediate medical assistance at the first sign of any symptoms.’