An influenza pandemic involves these characteristics:
- A new influenza A virus.
- There is little or no immunity in the human population.
- The virus begins to cause serious illness.
- It spreads easily from person to person worldwide.
What you can do to prepare for a pandemic:
- Ask your healthcare provider about the signs and symptoms of a specific disease outbreak. He or she can recommend steps you can take to decrease your risk.
- Take care of yourself, and take common-sense steps to stop the spread of germs: wash your hands often, cough and sneeze into your arm, and stay home when you’re sick.
The Virginia Department of Health offers detailed information about pandemic flu in Virginia.
Flu.gov is a partnership of the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of Health and others that offers information about flu pandemics.