Infectious diseases such as pandemic flu are worldwide events due to the ease at which disease can spread around the world. The World Health Organisation WHO remains on high alert monitoring for outbreaks. WHO considers an outbreak to be a pandemic when:
- The infections agent hasn't been seen before and there is no natural immunity to it
- The agent infects humans
- It spreads easily and survives in humans
Unlike a normal flu virus, which has a season (October to May in the UK), a flu pandemic can occur at any time.
What can you do?
- In preparation - keep healthy - a healthy lifestyle is a great defence against flu and other illnesses
- Follow guidance from NHS England
- Identify a 'flu friend' - somebody who would collect medication, food and other supplies allowing you to be isolated from the public
- Keep a stock of 'over the counter' cold and flu medication to relieve your symptoms