Pandemic influenza

Pandemic influenza

Pandemic influenza occurs when a new type of the flu virus emerges to which people have little immunity. The virus spreads quickly and easily between people and can cause serious illness and death. It comes in waves that can last for months or years.


The flu is spread by respiratory droplets that contain the virus. Droplets form when a person coughs or sneezes and can travel up to a metre through the air.

The flu is passed on when the virus makes contact with your eyes, nose or mouth. This may be directly, or transferred by your hands.

Avoid spreading or catching the flu by:

  • covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough
  • washing your hands regularly
  • avoiding close contact with infected people
  • having a flu vaccination
  • taking prescribed flu medication
  • staying home when ill.

Learn how to protect yourself against pandemic influenza.


Learn how to prepare

During a pandemic

During a pandemic, stay up to date with the news and check this website regularly for important information, including how to protect yourself.

If you think you have been infected, before visiting the doctor, phone:

  • 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
  • Your doctor

View the Queensland Health website for more information.