Influenza virus is spread when a person coughs or sneezes and the airborne droplets are inhaled by another person. However, the virus can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces, and then touching one's face. The best way to prevent the spread of the influenza virus is by practicing good personal hygiene and getting vaccinated yearly. Personal Hygiene Tips.
Influenza symptoms include: fever, headache, nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, and tiredness. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are more commonly seen in children.
A pandemic is a worldwide disease outbreak and can cause large numbers of fatalities. It can happen when a new virus strain emerges and humans have no immunity to it, meaning our bodies have no defense to the new germ. To date, there have been no cases of the Avian (bird flu) H5N1 virus in the United States, nor has there been a human transmission of the disease in a form that could fuel a pandemic.