For most people, influenza, or flu, causes fever, coughing, headaches, aches and pains, and fatigue. Flu illness can escalate and develop into life-threatening complications like pneumonia and respiratory failure. Each year scientists predict which strains of the flu virus are likely to affect which areas of the world. Vaccines are developed and then distributed annually to help build immunity against seasonal flu viruses so as to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications.
A flu pandemic can occur when a novel, non-human strain of the flu virus emerges, and a given population has little or no immunity against it. If the virus spreads throughout a given population and then spreads across national or geographical boundaries, it becomes a global threat— a flu pandemic.
Flu pandemics have happened four times before in recent history—in 1918, 1957, 1968, and 2009. Governments, organizations, doctors, and scientists are working hard to plan for the next pandemic.
Health systems must be prepared for future pandemics before the pandemics occur, a key part of this is being able to distribute and administer vaccine effectively and efficiently. If people become ill, antivirals can treat flu infection, while antibiotics can treat secondary bacterial infections such as pneumonia. Health systems must be able to distribute and administer these treatments effectively. Pandemic preparedness plans are developed and implemented to reduce the impact of future pandemics.
For more information on flu or pandemics, please visit:
Influenza News from the CDC
CDC International Influenza Updates
CDC Seasonal Flu Updates
- Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Reporton February 22, 2019 at 4:00 pm
During week 7 (February 10-16), flu activity increased in the U.S. […]
- Update: Influenza Activity - United States, September 30, 2018-February 2, 2019on February 15, 2019 at 5:15 pm
Update: Influenza Activity - United States, September 30, 2018-February 2, 2019 […]
- Interim Estimates of 2018-19 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness - United States, February 2019on February 15, 2019 at 5:15 pm
Interim Estimates of 2018-19 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness - United States, February 2019 […]
- 2017-2018 Season Burden Averted Estimateson February 6, 2019 at 7:00 pm
CDC has estimated the burden of influenza and the impact of annual influenza vaccination in the United States for the 2017-2018 flu season. […]
- Influenza A (H1N2) Reassortant Infection in Swedenon February 4, 2019 at 1:00 pm
On Friday, January 25, 2019, Sweden reported a human infection with an influenza A(H1N2) virus. […]