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What is an influenza pandemic?

A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza A virus emerges 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. The federal government, states, communities and industry are taking steps to prepare for and respond to an influenza pandemic. For more information, go to www.pandemicflu.gov/

How to be prepared?

Practice good health habits—including eating a balanced diet, exercising daily, and getting sufficient rest—and take these common-sense steps to stop the spread of germs:
* Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
* Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues.
* Stay away from others as much as possible if you are sick.

Stay informed about pandemic influenza and be prepared to respond. Consult www.pandemicflu.gov frequently for updates on national and international information on pandemic influenza. Use national and local pandemic hotlines that will be established in the eventuality of a global influenza outbreak. Listen to radio and television and read media stories about pandemic flu.

Government resources:
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
* United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
* United States Department of Health and Human Services
* World Health Organization



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