Pandemics - 6 Critical Things to Know
- What is a flu pandemic?
When a new flu virus spreads around the world, it is considered a pandemic. It is a virus that spreads quickly and infects the nose, throat, and lungs.
- What is the difference between seasonal flu and a flu pandemic?
Typically, flu pandemics develop from a new virus that spreads from animals to people. Because it is a new virus, it can spread easily and quickly, causing wide-spread illness.
- Am I protected if I’ve had a seasonal flu vaccine?
It is unlikely that a seasonal flu vaccine will protect you from a flu pandemic because vaccines help protect you from viruses that experts anticipate will make people sick. Any new virus that causes a flu pandemic is unlikely to be a virus that experts planned for.
- How do I prepare for a flu pandemic ahead of time?
- Keep a pandemic kit in every location you spend a lot of time: home, work, school, car, commute.
- Make sure every person in your home or office has a flu pandemic kit.
- Stock up on food, water, and medicine for at least 72-hours, preferably a full week. Remember, stores may close to keep their employees safely at home. Supplies may not be readily available.
- Create and communicate an emergency plan for all family members and practice frequently.
- Make a list of each family member’s health information, including medications; keep the list in each person’s pandemic kit.
- How do I stop the spread of germs?
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
- If you become sick, stay home.
- Do not return to work or school until your fever has been gone (without the aid of fever-reducing medicine).
- Cover your nose or mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; throw the tissue in the trash immediately.
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is unavailable.
- Keep germs out of your body by not touching your mouth, eyes, and nose.
- What do I do if a flu pandemic happens?
- Stayed informed. In the event of a flu pandemic near you, follow the advice of local officials regarding closures at schools, businesses, and public transportation locations.