What is the difference between pandemic flu and seasonal flu?

Seasonal Flu Pandemic Flu

  • Occurs every year during the winter
  • Affects up to about 10% of the population
  • For most people it is an unpleasant but not life-threatening infection
  • The very young, the very old, and people with certain chronic illnesses are most at risk of serious illness.
  • Annual vaccination is available
  • Antiviral drugs are available to treat those at special risk
  • Has occurred three times in the last 90 years
  • Can occur at any time of the year
  • It is a more serious infection for everyone
  • People of every age may be at risk of serious illness
  • A vaccine probably won't be available when the pandemic starts - when it does become available the aim will be to immunize people as rapidly as possible as vaccine supplies become available
  • Antiviral drugs are likely to be in limited supply and will have to be used to best effect according to how the disease develops. Vaccines against ordinary flu will not protect against pandemic flu. However, getting your annual flu shot is one of several things you can do to keep yourself healthy, and that may help you fight off the pandemic virus.

Show All Answers

1. What is pandemic influenza?
2. What is the difference between pandemic flu and seasonal flu?
3. What would the next pandemic be like in Minnesota?
4. What can I do now?