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Pandemic Flu


An influenza pandemic is a worldwide outbreak that occurs when a new influenza virus appears or "emerges" in the human population that may cause serious illness or death and spreads easily from person to person worldwide.

Pandemics are different from seasonal outbreaks of influenza in several ways. Whereas seasonal influenza occurs routinely worldwide each year, pandemic flu is rare. There have only been three pandemics in the past century, the most recent being the H1N1 pandemic (also known as swine flu) in 2009. A pandemic flu is caused by a new virus that few, if any, people have immunity to. It takes approximately six months to produce a vaccine against a new flu virus. During a typical flu season more than 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized. In contrast, it's estimated that up to 9.9 million people in the U.S. could be hospitalized over the course of a severe flu pandemic.

A pandemic may last up to two years and comes and goes in waves. The flu will appear to subside until a new wave happens weeks or months later when it infects people who weren't exposed during a previous wave.


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Links


Pandemic Flu Preparedness

Pandemic Flu Preparation Checklists

Pandemic Flu Preparedness Kits

School Action Kit | Pandemic Flu Kit for Child Care Providers


´╗┐Physicians who need to report a suspected public health emergency should contact the Public Health division immediately at 925-313-6740; or after hours, call the sheriff's dispatch at 925-646-2441 and ask for the Health Officer On Call.


For Information About Health Emergencies Call 1-888-959-9911 or 211