Californians should be aware of a few different types of flu:
Seasonal flu is what many people refer to as “the flu.” Seasonal flu happens
every year. It is caused by viruses similar to those already affecting
Bird flu, also known as avian flu, is caused by a virus that affects birds,
both wild and domestic, in many parts of the world. Avian flu occurs in
poultry and wild game and have not been found in the United States. In countries
where avian flu is affecting birds some humans have gotten the virus directly
Pandemic flu happens when a new type of flu virus that people have never had
before spreads around the world. It is possible that the H5N1 bird flu virus
could change and become more dangerous to humans. In order for the current bird
flu outbreak to become a pandemic, it would have to change to be able to spread
easily from human to human.
This section provides you with resources to understand more about the
differences among each type of flu, and what you can do to prepare for and
respond to each.