Pandemics are highly contagious viruses that are easily spread and can cause severe illness and even loss of life. The most common form of pandemic in Australia is influenza, otherwise known as the flu. Many people die annually from complications of the flu.

During a pandemic, it is important to stay up to date with the facts and other important information, including how to protect yourself. You can do this by visiting the Queensland Health website.

If you think you have been infected, before visiting the doctor, phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)

You can reduce the risk of pandemics to yourself and family by taking these simple precautions.


  • It's wise to always have some extra food at home, however there is no need to excessively stockpile. You can prepare an emergency kit to last for 14 days that contains non-perishable food, medications and other supplies like baby needs or pet food.
  • Emergency kits are good practice in preparation for any emergency situation but it's important to build your emergency kit over time, rather than buy everything at once.

Did you know?

  • 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:

  • sneezing or coughing into your elbow
  • washing your hands regularly
  • avoiding close contact with infected people
  • having a flu vaccination
  • taking prescribed flu medication
  • staying home when ill.

Understand your risk:

  • Early signs of the flu can include cough, sore throat, sinusitis or fever.
  • People with chronic conditions such as asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, blood disorders, liver and kidney disorders, endocrine disorders and obesity are more likely to develop complications from flu.
  • The highest rates of hospitalisation are seen in children under five and the elderly.