You can prepare for an influenza pandemic now. You should know both the magnitude of what can happen during a pandemic outbreak and what actions you can take to help lessen the impact of an influenza pandemic on you and your family.
Types of Flu Outbreak
Seasonal Flu—A contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza (flu) viruses occurring every year. It affects an average of 5 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population by causing mild to severe illness, and in some instances can lead to death.
Epidemic—The rapid spread of a disease that affects some or many people in a community or region at the same time.
Pandemic—An outbreak of a disease that affects large numbers of people throughout the world and spreads rapidly.
Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. There are additional steps you can take to keep yourself and your family healthy during flu season.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.