Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection causing fever, severe aching, and a buildup of mucus in the nose and throat. Seasonal flu happens annually and usually peaks between December and February. Pandemic flu happens rarely (three times in 20th century) when a new flu virus emerges that can infect people and spread globally. Take basic steps to stay healthy during flu season and prepare for an influenza pandemic. Learn the magnitude of what can happen during a pandemic outbreak and what actions you can take to reduce the impact of an influenza pandemic on you and your family.
Build an emergency go kit. During a pandemic, if you cannot get to a store or if stores are out of supplies, it will be important for you to have extra supplies on hand.
Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home. Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins, on hand.
Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference. Get help accessing electronic health records.
Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what you may need to care for them in your home.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.