Differences Between Seasonal Flu and a Flu Pandemic
Below is a comparison of seasonal flu and a flu pandemic (See Number 19 in References).
|Outbreaks occur every year, usually in winter.
||Occurs only rarely (only four times since 1918).|
|Caused by influenza viruses that are similar to those already affecting people.
||Caused by a new influenza virus that people have not been exposed to before.|
|Healthy adults usually not at risk for serious complications.
||Healthy adults may be at increased risk for serious complications.|
|Hospitals and healthcare providers can usually meet public needs.
||Hospitals and healthcare providers may be overwhelmed and difficult to access.|
|Vaccine available at beginning of flu season.
||Vaccine would probably not be available in the early stages of a pandemic.|
|Causes an average of 36,000 deaths each year in the United States.
||Number of deaths could be significantly higher. In the 1918 pandemic, approximately 675,000 people died in the United States.|
|Generally does not have a severe impact on daily life.
||May have a severe impact on daily life, including widespread restrictions on travel, closings of schools and businesses, and cancellation of public events.|
Learn how to protect yourself during a flu pandemic.