A flu pandemic is an outbreak caused by a new flu virus that spreads around the world. The virus will spread easily from person to person, mostly through coughing and sneezing. Because the virus is new to people, everyone will be at risk of getting it.
During a flu pandemic, you can use simple actions to help protect yourself and others from becoming sick with the flu. No single action protects completely. If used together, the steps below can help reduce the chances of becoming infected.
Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your arm when you cough and sneeze.
Stay away from other people if you are ill.
Avoid crowded places and large gatherings as much as possible.
There may be times during a pandemic when you must be in a crowded setting or in close contact (within 6 feet) with people who might be ill. During such times, the use of a facemask or a respirator might help prevent the spread of pandemic flu.
Below is a simple and fun reminder video about what you can do to stay healthy. Prepared by UW-Whitewater.
Below ia a video from Consumers Report on the minimum standard for a swibe flu face mask.
For more information on interim public health guidance for the use of facemasks and respirators in non-occupational community settings during an influenza pandemic, download this printable PDF* from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). * Note: This document was prepared in May 2007 when the CDC was unaware of any new innovations that might improved the effectiveness of facemask or respirator use in preventing the transmission of influenza viruses.