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Pandemic Influenza and Avian Influenza

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Pandemic Influenza and Avian Influenza

 

Pandemic influenza is a global disease outbreak. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza A virus appears for which there is little or no immunity in the human population, begins to cause serious illness and then spreads easily person-to-person worldwide.

 

Pandemics are different from seasonal flu outbreaks or “epidemics” of influenza. Seasonal outbreaks are caused by subtypes of influenza viruses that already circulate among people, whereas pandemic outbreaks are caused by new subtypes or by subtypes that have never circulated among people. Past influenza pandemics have led to high levels of illness, death, social disruption, and economic loss.

 

There is concern that this strain of “bird” flu could cause a pandemic – a very dangerous, worldwide outbreak of illness. That will only happens if the flu virus changes, so people can get it easily from each other – not just from birds. That hasn’t happened yet – and it may never happen. But health officials believe that we will have a flu pandemic sooner or later – even if it’s caused by some other strain of the flu virus.

 

For more information, visit the links below. 

 

·        Pandemic Flu Facts link to www.pandemicflu.gov/general/

What is a Pandemic Flu?  How likely is it that a pandemic will occur?  Will it affect Michigan?

 

·        Avian H5N1 Influenza Facts link to www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/

What is Avian Influenza?  What is the connection between avian flu and a pandemic?

 

·        Pandemic influenza: Vaccine and Antivirals link towww.pandemicflu.gov/vaccine/

Will there be a vaccine available to prevent the pandemic?  Will there be antivirals available? 

 

·        Local Preparedness link to

What is the Dickinson-Iron District Health Department doing to prepare for the possible pandemic? 

We are developing a pandemic influenza response plan that details local strategies to combat an influenza outbreak.  We have been conducting exercises with local and regional emergency response partners to test our ability to dispense vaccine and medications to Iron and Dickinson County residents.  For additional detailed  information, please contact the Dickinson-Iron District Health Department at 906-779-1868 or 906-265-9913

 

·        State Preparedness link to www.michigan.gov/influenza/

What is the State of Michigan doing to prepare for the pandemic? 

 

·        Healthcare Provider Information link to www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic/healthprofessional.htm

Information for Healthcare Providers is provided in this link. 

 

 

 

·        Pandemic Influenza:  What can you do? link to www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/tab3.html

What can I do to prepare myself and my family for a public health emergency like a pandemic?

You can protect yourself against the flu by working to improve your health and by getting the annual flu shot.  Although the vaccine against the seasonal flu will not protect you against the avian flu, it will keep you healthy and may help you fight off the pandemic flu.  Also, good personal hygiene will help in spreading the flu to family members and co-workers.  Please wash your hands often! 

 
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818 Pyle Drive, Kingsford, MI 49802 - Phone: 1-906-774-1868
601 Washington Ave, Iron River, MI 49935 - Phone: 1-906-265-9913
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