Flu Pandemics

Pandemics arise when a new virus emerges which is capable of spreading in the worldwide population. Unlike ordinary seasonal influenza that occurs every winter in the UK, pandemic flu can occur at any time of the year.

Most recently the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 'swine flu' pandemic virus emerged in Mexico in 2009 causing mild/asymptomatic disease in the majority of cases but severe illness and death in a small proportion of cases, particularly in more vulnerable groups. The threat of a more severe and disrupting pandemic remains and the UK has to be prepared for such an event.

Information for you and your family

A leaflet is available in over twenty languages describing pandemic flu, the risk of it occurring in this country, what makes it different from the 'ordinary' flu we get every winter, and what the UK is doing to prepare for a possible influenza pandemic. You can download a copy from the Department of Health:
Other Information

The Department of Health 'Pandemic Flu' web site is the best source of information and contains the following:
  1. The UK Department of Healths UK influenza pandemic contingency plan
  2. A guide from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for healthcare professionals and the public
  3. Key facts on Influenza
  4. Frequently asked questions
  5. The UK operational framework for antiviral medicines
All information can be accessed online at:

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