Over the last couple of years, a small number of people in Asia have become ill with a strain of flu that normally affects birds. Most if not all of these people have gotten the illness from birds – not from other people. But for those who do get it, this strain of flu appears to be especially dangerous, with a high death rate among those who become ill.
There is concern that this strain of “bird” flu could cause a pandemic – a very dangerous, worldwide outbreak of illness. That will only happens if the flu virus changes, so people can get it easily from each other – not just from birds. That hasn’t happened yet – and it may never happen. But health officials believe that we will have a flu pandemic sooner or later – even if it’s caused by some other strain of the flu virus.
- Avian Flu and Pandemic Flu: The Difference – and the Connection
Avian (“bird”) flu and pandemic flu are not the same thing – but there is a connection. Here’s why people are concerned about avian flu.
- Pandemic Flu Facts
What is pandemic influenza? How is it different from "ordinary" flu? How likely is an influenza pandemic? Will it affect us in Connecticut?
- Avian H5N1 Influenza
The H5N1 virus has affected hundreds of thousands of birds, and over a hundred humans. Could it become the next pandemic influenza?
- Pandemic Influenza: Vaccines and Antivirals
Will there be a vaccine against pandemic influenza? Will antivirals help? How about antibiotics?
- Pandemic Influenza: What Can You Do?
Some things you can do now to prepare yourself and your family from a possible pandemic.
- H5N1 Avian Influenza Statistics
Lists of countries affected by H5N1 in poultry and humans.
- Healthcare Provider Information on Pandemic Influenza
Information for healthcare providers and laboratories, including who to test for H5N1, what to do with samples, proper infection control for suspect cases, and guidance about antiviral medications.
Public Health Emergency Response Plan (pdf) - The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead administrative and planning agency for public health initiatives, including public health emergency preparedness. DPH works with federal, state, regional, and local partners to improve the state’s ability to respond to public health emergencies.
DPH Pandemic Influenza Response Plan (pdf) - The Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead administrative and planning agency for public health initiatives, including public health emergency preparedness. DPH works with federal, state, regional, and local partners to improve the state’s ability to respond to public health emergencies.