Pandemic Influenza is a type of influenza that occurs every few decades and which spreads quickly to affect most countries and regions around the world. The symptoms of Pandemic Flu are similar to those of 'ordinary' flu but are usually more severe. The differences between Seasonal Flu and Pandemic Flu explain why we regard pandemic flu as such a serious threat.
The Department of Health takes the lead on planning for Pandemic Flu however it is important other organisations, including Calderdale Council, work jointly with health to provide a consistent approach to the pandemic.
However, a response in the event of an outbreak will only be effective with individual and community support and cooperation. Information and advice will be published at the time of a pandemic however, the Public Health England provides information on the risk of pandemic flu occurring in the UK, what makes it different from the ordinary flu that we get every winter and what the UK is doing to prepare for a possible pandemic.
Some basic measures can be taken on a personal level to reduce the risk of infection at the time of an outbreak:
- Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully (Catch It, Bin It, Kill It)
- Hand washing frequently with soap and water; reduces acquiring the virus from contact with infected surfaces and from passing it on
- Cleaning hard surfaces (e.g. kitchen worktops, door handles) frequently, using normal cleaning product
- Making sure children follow this advice.
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