Pandemic Flu

The State of Hawaii has been preparing for a possible influenza pandemic for some time now. While these preparations served us well during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and we have a strong framework in place, we can always be more prepared. The Hawaii Pandemic Flu Preparedness & Response Plan is being updated and will be available for public comment soon.

DOH continues to lead efforts in Hawaii to educate the public about the differences between seasonal flu and pandemic flu, and to provide local governments and decision makers with tools and tips they can use to prepare for any future pandemic.

What’s the difference?

Pandemic flu: A flu pandemic is a global outbreak that occurs when a new influenza A virus causes serious human illness and spreads easily from person to person.

Avian flu: Avian, or bird, flu occurs naturally among birds. All bird flus are influenza A. There are many strains of avian flu viruses, some are more common than others.

Seasonal flu: This is the influenza virus that tends to infect people each year during the winter months. In many people, its symptoms are mild and last no more than a week. However, about 36,000 Americans die of seasonal influenza each year.

Influenza A: Influenza A viruses are found in many different animals, including ducks, chickens, pigs, whales, horses, and seals. Influenza A is primarily a respiratory disease, causing cough, congestion, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, and fever in most species it infects.

Influenza B: This virus circulates widely only among humans. It generally does not make people as sick as influenza A does.