Pandemic flu occurs when a new influenza virus appears or emerges in the human population and causes a global outbreak of the disease, resulting in serious illness as it spreads from person to person. Pandemic flu has occurred naturally throughout history. The world has experienced three influenza pandemics during the 20th century. The deadliest was the "Spanish Flu" of 1918-19 which, based on the lowest estimate, killed 21 million people worldwide. The other two were the "Asian Flu" of 1956 - 1958 and "Hong Kong Flu" of 1968 - 1969. While no one can predict when the next influenza pandemic will hit, public health officials have warned that a global influenza pandemic is overdue.
The goal of local pandemic planning is to:
Minimize serious illness and overall deaths in St. Thomas and Elgin County
Minimize local societal disruptions as a result of an influenza pandemic
The purpose of this website is to provide the residents of Elgin County and the City of St. Thomas with a resource to learn more about pandemic influenza and how to protect themselves. In addition, planning and response resources will be made available to community stakeholders.