Pandemic flu is a particular type of flu that causes a worldwide outbreak, or pandemic, of a serious illness that spreads easily from person to person. While most people have some immunity to various strains of seasonal flu, flu viruses are constantly changing and producing new strains. When a virus emerges that is so different from previous strains that few, if any, people have any immunity to it, the impact is more severe and widespread than with seasonal flu. There is no flu pandemic at this time.
While medical authorities are concerned that one could develop from the avian flu that has infected bird populations in most parts of the world, there is no avian flu in the United States. Although the avian flu virus is very dangerous to humans, it is very difficult for humans to become infected. But, if the virus changes in certain ways, human-to-human infection could happen more easily, resulting in a worldwide health problem.
The symptoms of pandemic influenza would be similar to those of ordinary flu but are usually more severe.
The Memphis and Shelby County Health Department, in conjunction with state and federal agencies, are helping our community prepare for the possibility of a pandemic by providing informational tools and education. View the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department Pandemic Influenza Response Plan
to learn more about local efforts or the Tennessee Department of Health's Pandemic Influenza Response Plan
to learn about statewide efforts.
Flu Preparation Checklists