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Personal Health

What is a Pandemic?

A pandemic is a global disease outbreak.

Flu pandemics occur when a new influenza virus emerges for which people have little or no immunity, and for which there is no vaccine. The disease spreads easily from person-to-person, causes serious illness, and can sweep around the world in very short time.

Wherever and whenever a pandemic starts, everyone around the world is at risk. Countries might, through measures such as border closures and travel restrictions, delay arrival of the virus, but cannot stop it.

Individuals can decrease their risk during a pandemic by:

Flu Symptoms

Symptoms of flu include:

  • If you have a fever of 100° or more (or fever like complaints such as a flushed appearance, sweating or chills), stay home until you are fever free for more than 24 hours without medication. Or if no fever is noted, stay home until you are symptom free for 24 hours.
  • You are most likely to be shedding/spreading germs during periods of fever. This is why you should stay home and limit your interaction with other people.
  • If you spike a fever, your symptoms continue for several days, or if you have other diagnosed health problems, (such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease), and develop symptoms of the flu contact your primary health care provider. Here is a list of free & reduced cost clinics http://www.freeclinicsofiowa.org/If you live outside of Polk County, Contact the County Health Department office for the county you live in.
  • If you cannot make it to class, email your instructor so that your reason for absence can be noted. Let them know when you will be able to make it back to class and make arrangements to complete the assignments you are missing.

For more information and questions about influenza and vaccines, see the Polk County Health Department Website.