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Pandemic Flu, Are You Prepared?
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Red Cross
April 29, 2009

While this video contains references to “bird flu,” the steps it urges the public to take also apply to swine flu (H1N1).

As the world continues to monitor the swine flu (H1N1 flu outbreak) situation, you may hear references to “pandemic flu”.  Stories in the media are constant as health officials around the globe are watching whether the current flu outbreak evolves into a pandemic. 

What is pandemic flu and what does it really mean?

A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges and humans have little or no immunity toward it.  The virus begins to cause serious illness which spreads easily from person to person around the world.

Reports of swine flu outbreaks are growing.  Caused by an influenza virus of swine origin, the number of cases continues to develop in the United States and internationally. Whether the situation reaches pandemic status or not, it reminds us that pandemic flu is a reality and we must prepare for it.

The American Red Cross offers a short video to help individuals understand a pandemic flu and how to be prepared.  It covers a range of topics from explaining how the flu spreads to offering prevention strategies and tips on developing a family preparedness plan by getting a preparedness kit, making a plan and being informed.

Help others to be prepared, pass the video along to family members and friends.

More information is available on the Red Cross Web site. Up-to-the-minute updates on the swine flu can be found at the CDC Web site. People seeking information on human swine flu should visit the CDC Web site or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.

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