Pandemic Flu

A pandemic occurs when a disease spreads rapidly, affecting most countries and regions of the world. Influenza pandemics have occurred periodically throughout human history -- including a major pandemic in 1918, and smaller pandemics in 1957 and 1968. Scientists predict that another pandemic will happen, although they cannot say exactly when. They also don't know if the next pandemic will be mild, moderate or severe.

pandemic fluThe symptoms of pandemic influenza are similar to those of ordinary flu, but are usually more severe. Vaccine against ordinary flu will not protect against pandemic flu. However, getting your annual flu shot is one of several things you can do to keep yourself healthy, and that might help you fight off the pandemic virus.

Pandemic influenza planning began in Minnesota in 1999. While the government is working on plans for dealing with a potential pandemic, it is important for individuals and families to prepare now.

Pandemic Flu Planning Checklist for Individuals and Families
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. This checklist will help you gather the information and resources you may need in case of a flu pandemic. For more information, visit the Minnesota Department of Health or www.pandemicflu.gov.

  1. To plan for a pandemic:
    • Store a supply of water and food. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store, or if stores are out of supplies, it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand. This can be useful in other types of emergencies, such as power outages and disasters.
    • Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
    • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
    • Volunteer with local groups to prepare and assist with emergency response.
    • Get involved in your community as it works to prepare for an influenza pandemic.

  2. To limit the spread of germs and prevent infection:
    • Teach your children to wash hands frequently with soap and water, and model the correct behavior.
    • Teach your children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues, and be sure to model that behavior.
    • Teach your children to stay away from others as much as possible if they are sick. Stay home from work and school if sick.

  3. Items to have on hand for an extended stay at home:

    Examples of food and non-perishables:

    • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, and soups
    • Protein or fruit bars
    • Dry cereal or granola
    • Peanut butter or nuts
    • Dried fruit
    • Crackers
    • Canned juices
    • Bottled water
    • Canned or jarred baby food and formula
    • Pet food

    Examples of medical, health, and emergency supplies:

    • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood-pressure monitoring equipment
    • Soap and water, or alcohol-based hand wash
    • Medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
    • Thermometer
    • Anti-diarrheal medication
    • Vitamins
    • Fluids with electrolytes
    • Cleansing agent/soap
    • Flashlight
    • Batteries
    • Portable radio
    • Manual can opener
    • Garbage bags
    • Tissues, toilet paper, disposable diapers

Learn more about pandemic flu and how to prepare for it by visiting these websites:

© 2016 City Of Edina, Minnesota