Pandemic influenza emerges as a result of a new flu virus which is markedly different from recently circulating strains. Few – if any – people will have any immunity to this new virus thus allowing it to spread easily and to cause more serious illness.
Pandemic flu can’t be prevented, but there are a number of things you can do to reduce the spread of the virus and your risk of catching it. Some of the main ones are listed below.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Put used tissues into a bin as soon as you can.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, especially after you sneeze or cough.
- As well as washing your hands frequently, use an alcohol-based liquid or gel hand sanitiser, for example, after coughing or handling used tissues.
- Clean hard surfaces like door handles and desks frequently.
- Stay away from large crowds of people.
- Don’t travel unless it’s necessary.
- If you’re in a risk group, have the currently recommended flu vaccine once it becomes available.
- Make sure your children follow these guidelines too.