Find out about the 1918 pandemic and why it matters today.
Pandemic flu is not the same illness as "seasonal flu" we see nearly every year. Pandemic flu outbreaks are far more serious, and occur unpredictably. Pandemic flu outbreaks happened at least three times during the Twentieth Century. They will happen again. These outbreaks happen when a new kind of influenza virus emerges that spreads quickly between people around the world. They can happen very fast, especially in this age of airline travel.
A completely new flu virus causes more illnesses and deaths than seasonal flu. We have no protection (immunity) against new viruses and it will take a while to develop a vaccine.
We don't know how serious or deadly a pandemic will be, but history shows they can be very serious. Our best defense is for everyone to become informed, aware and prepared. The information at the following web sites and links can help you become better prepared and help you know what to do if and when a pandemic occurs
During a public health emergency, such as a large scale disease outbreak or bioterrorism event, we may provide antibiotics or vaccines to everyone in the County who may have been exposed. We may set up Points of Dispensing (POD) sites to distribute medications. If we ever set up POD Sites, we will do everything we can to inform everyone in the community about what to do. You will be able to call 211, and listen to radio or TV for instructions for your nearest location. You may even get a call from Ventura County's Reverse 911 system giving you instructions. If you are told to come to a POD Site, bring the following information for yourself and each person in your home.
- A list of medical conditions.
- A list of current medications.
- A list of allergies.
- Weights and ages of all individuals.
- Any other information (forms) that we might ask you to bring.
Medications are free when dispensed in response to a local, state or nationally-declared emergency. Only people who may have been exposed to the illness or disease would receive the medications. Routine medical care is not provided at POD Sites.