Health Emergencies

Additional Resources


Influenza, more commonly known as “the flu,” is a virus that affects mlllions each year and can be very dangerous to vulnerable populations. The flu spreads either directly from coughing or sneezing or indirectly when the virus gets onto your hands and is spread by touching your eyes, mouth or nose. The virus is can stay alive for several hours on your hands and for up to two days on certain surfaces.

You can prevent the spread of influenza by:

  • Washing your hands thoroughly and often. Make sure you wash before and after eating, or if you have been in a public place.
  • Getting a flu shot in early flu season (between October and December). Young children and the elderly in particular should consider getting vaccinated.
  • Coughing or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue, not your hands. Keep your hands away from your face.
  • If you are sick, stay home until symptoms subside to avoid spreading the virus to others. Call your doctor if symptoms worsen.
  • Keeping common surfaces like counters and doorknobs clean and disinfected.


Pandemics are global outbreaks of disease that are classified to be dangerous due to the number of deaths and how quickly it spreads. When a new virus emerges against which humans have no immunity the disease can spread very quickly and survive for a long time.  The best way to prepare for an outbreak is to pay attention to public health alerts.