Pandemic Influenza

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What is a flu pandemic?
A flu pandemic occurs when a novel (new) influenza virus emerges for which there is little or no immunity in the human population; the virus spreads easily from person-to-person worldwide and can cause serious illness.

What is the difference between seasonal and pandemic influenza?
Seasonal influenza occurs every year. In the United States, the virus usually circulates during the late fall through early spring. Pandemic influenza can circulate during any time of the year.

What are the symptoms of pandemic flu? The symptoms of pandemic flu are similar to seasonal flu. Symptoms include, fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue. In addition to these symptoms, Vomiting and diarrhea have also been associated with the H1N1 strain of influenza.

How can I protect myself and my family?
Pandemic influenza spreads the same way as seasonal influenza. Follow these simple guidelines to protect yourself and family from getting sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without first washing your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Get vaccinated.
  • Practice good health habits.
For more information on seasonal and pandemic influenza, visit http://www.flu.gov/.