Pandemic Influenza

Pandemic Influenza

An influenza pandemic can occur when a non-human (novel) influenza virus gains the ability for efficient and sustained human-to-human transmission and then spreads globally. Pandemic influenza is caused by a new virus, and when vaccine to prevent the associated flu is not available. Therefore, more people are prone to falling ill.  In addition, a pandemic virus strain can spread rapidly from person to person and, if severe, can cause high levels of disease and death around the world. Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. A person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new virus emerges. A vaccine cannot be produced for this new virus until the virus has been identified. Developing, testing and producing a new vaccine can take up to six months. Enough vaccine would be available once a vaccine was developed, tested and produced. This process could take six months, and then vaccine would be distributed to local health authorities for mass vaccination.

Download the Pandemic Influenza Fact Sheet below for more detailed information about pandemic influenza or visit the CDC website.


Pandemic Influenza Fact Sheet

In the event of pandemic influenza, the Washoe County Health District will announce detailed instructions on how to obtain vaccine through a point of dispensing (POD) site. This information will be available through the media, news, and on this website.

Last modified on 07/20/2015