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Hazards - Influenza - The Flu

Influenza (commonly called “the flu”) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.   Infection with influenza viruses can result in severe illness and life-threatening complications. An estimated 10% to 20% of U.S. residents get the flu each year: an average of 114,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications and 36,000 Americans die each year from complications of flu.

In contrast to natural disasters -- in which critical components of the physical infrastructure may be threatened or destroyed -- an influenza pandemic may also pose significant threats to the human infrastructure responsible for critical community services due to widespread absenteeism in the workforce.


What is influenza?


Emergency Management and Influenza


Flu Terms Defined

  • Seasonal (or common) flu is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted person to person. Most people have some immunity, and a vaccine is available.

  • Avian (or bird) flu is caused by influenza viruses that occur naturally among wild birds. The H5N1 variant is deadly to domestic fowl and can be transmitted from birds to humans. There is no human immunity and no vaccine is available.
  • Pandemic flu is virulent human flu that causes a global outbreak, or pandemic, of serious illness. Because there is little natural immunity, the disease can spread easily from person to person. Currently, there is no pandemic flu.




EM Tools Link

CDC Influenza Page

Weekly US Map: Influenza Summary Update

Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza
Implementation Plan

National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza