Baltimore County Department of Health
6401 York Road, 3rd Floor
Baltimore, MD 21212-2130
Phone: 410-887-BCHD (2243)
TTY users call via Maryland Relay
- A pandemic is a worldwide outbreak of illness.
- Pandemic Flu is caused by a "new" virus that our bodies do not know how to fight.
Avian Flu (Bird Flu)
- Is caused by influenza viruses that occur naturally among birds.
- Usually only affect birds.
- H5N1 is one type of Avian Flu that can infect humans.
- 2009 H1N1 (sometimes called “swine flu”) is a new influenza virus.
- Caused more illness in the 2009-2010 flu season in young people and pregnant women than is usual for prior flu seasons.
- Seasonal "yearly" flu – is caused by viruses to which we have already been exposed.
- Vaccines are available that can prevent seasonal flu.
- An effective vaccine may not be available early in a pandemic.
What impact could pandemic flu have on us?
- Major disruptions in our daily lives.
- Problems for our health care systems – many people will be sick at the same time.
- Vaccines (if available) and antiviral drugs likely will be in short supply.
What Can You Do?
- Practice basic cold and flu prevention
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Wash hands often.
- Keep your distance from someone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Identify sources of credible information, such as http://www.pandemicflu.gov/.
- Listen to local and national news reports via radio, television and internet.
Get a Yearly Flu Shot
- Getting a yearly flu shot will not prevent a pandemic but can help you stay healthy.
- Visiting a hospital or doctor's office with seasonal flu during a pandemic may expose you to others who are sick with pandemic flu.
- Prepare your 72-hour kit and consider preparing for a longer period of time.
- Stock a supply of non-perishable food items.
- Remember to have extra medications.
Revised November 14, 2011