Influenza - Pandemic
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Influenza virus
A graphic of the microscopic H5N1 virus.

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious disease that is caused by the influenza virus. It attacks the respiratory tract in humans (nose, throat, and lungs). The flu is different from a cold. Influenza usually comes on suddenly and may include these symptoms: fever, headache, tiredness (can be extreme), dry cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. These symptoms are usually referred to as "flu-like symptoms."

Influenza A viruses periodically cause worldwide epidemics, or pandemics, with high rates of illness and death. Unlike other public welfare emergencies, an influenza pandemic will impact on multiple communities across the United States and require swift and coordinated action and cooperation by all levels of government. Advanced planning for a large scale and widespread health emergency is required to optimize health care delivery during a pandemic. In addition, prevention and preparedness activities facilitate the response and recovery during and after an influenza pandemic.

17 Apr 13

Sample Q&A: The Disease

How do influenza viruses change?
Flu viruses constantly change and mutate.  Sometimes these mutations result in viruses that move from animals to humans.

Antigenic drift refers to virus changes that happen slowly over time.  This is what traditionally causes the changes in the seasonal flu that require us to get vaccinated against the flu each year.

Antigenic shift is when changes happen suddenly.  When two different flu strains combine and infect the same cell, it may create a new flu subtype, which allows it to be transmitted from animals to humans.  Because people have little or no immunity to the new subtype, it can cause a very severe flu epidemic or pandemic.
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Recommendations of the Defense Health Board (DHB)
AFEB Select Subcommittee for DoD Pandemic Influenza Preparedness
Department of Health & Human Services
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Global Influenza
Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
Flu.gov - One-stop access to U.S. Government H1N1, avian and pandemic flu information

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases explains the emergence and potential spread of new influenza viruses.


AFN: Chicken knows best when it comes to pandemic flu.
Chicken Knows Best Pandemic Flu
AFN: A chicken talks up Pandemic Flu.
Author(s): Fuller T, Gilbert M, Martin V, Cappelle J, Hosseini P, Njabo K, Abdel Aziz S, Xiao X, Daszak P, Smith T
Publication: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Subject: Disease
Disease: 
Influenza - Seasonal
Influenza - Pandemic
Author(s): Government Accountability Office
Publication: GAO-13-374T
Subject: Vaccine-General
Disease: 
Influenza - Seasonal
Influenza - Pandemic
Author(s): Kuster S, Coleman B, Raboud J, McNeil S, De Serres G, Gubbay J, Hatchette T, Katz K, Loeb M, Low D, Mazzulli T, Simor A, McGeer A, and on behalf of th
Publication: Emerging Infectious Diseases; Volume 19, Number 4—April 2013
Subject: Disease
Disease: 
Influenza - Pandemic
Influenza - H1N1
Author(s): Salmon D, Akhtar A, Mergler M, Vannice K, Izurieta H, Lee G, Vellozzi, Garman P, Cunningham F, Gellin B, Koh H, Lurie N, H1N1 Working Group
Publication: Pediatrics
Subject: Vaccine-Safety
Disease: 
Influenza - Pandemic
Influenza - H1N1