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Barb Graff, Director

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Pandemic

As noted by many scientists throughout the world, Pandemic Flu may be the next worldwide threat to the health and very lives of millions of people. Please see the chart below, tracking the last major strains of influenza and the tragic effects on the world's populations.

Major Incidents

Year

Event

Impacts

1968

Influenza Epidemic

Less severe that the 1918 pandemic. Known as the 'Hong Kong' flu. 33,800 deaths in the U.S.

1957/8

Influenza Epidemic

Less severe that the 1918 pandemic. About 70,000 deaths in the United States. Nationally spread followed public gatherings. Schools heavily hit.

1918

Influenza Epidemic

Nationally 500,000 deaths. Schools in Seattle closed for months. Many public gatherings in Seattle banned.

Issues to Note

Seattle is a major transportation hub, thus putting us in a position where exposure is facilitated. Public Health- Seattle & King County estimates that events like the 1958 or 1968 pandemics would kill approximately 1,200 in King County, while one similar to the 1918 event would cause over 11,000 deaths.

Public Health- Seattle & King County is a national leader in pandemic flu planning. Even with strong planning in place, an outbreak would be a major disaster for the region. Government and business would struggle to keep essential services running as employees get sick. An outbreak could last for months. Individuals, families, organizations and businesses should have a plan for coping with an outbreak.

On the Web

How to Prepare for Pandemic Flu (PDF) - Information from the City of Seattle, King County and Washington State.

Flu epidemic hits Seattle on October 3, 1918 - Artcle from HistoryLink.

NPR Story on Seattle's Pandemic Flu Planning


During an emergency, go to www.seattle.gov for the latest information.


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