What would the next pandemic be like in Minnesota?

In 1918, pandemic influenza spread across the country in less than a month. Now, in the era of international air travel, a new pandemic will probably spread even faster, reaching Minnesota quickly after it is identified. Since everyone in the country would be hit pandemic at about the same time, we shouldn't expect help from other states.

Many people will get sick, and some will die. We expect that around 25% or 30% of our population might get the disease over the course of several months, and around two % will die. People won't be able to come to work because they are sick, are caring for someone who is sick, or are scared they will get sick from others at work, so absenteeism rates may be very high. Services in your community, such as utilities, grocery stores, and public transportation may be disrupted. Schools may close.

Hospitals and clinics will be very full, and will be completely overwhelmed. Many people will be cared for at home. Others may get care at huge sites like the Metrodome.

Eventually, there will be a vaccine, but it will take months to be produced, and there won't be enough for everyone at first.

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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?