Pandemic flu refers to a worldwide epidemic due to a new, dramatically different strain of influenza virus. A pandemic virus can spread rapidly from person to person and, if severe, can cause high levels of disease and death around the world. With pandemic flu (as compared to seasonal flu), the virus spreads more easily from person to person, and because it is a new virus, most people are susceptible as a vaccine has not been developed yet. Predicting when and how serious the next pandemic flu will be difficult. The Washoe County Health District’s pandemic preparedness efforts include ongoing surveillance of flu viruses, assessments of flu viruses with pandemic potential, the development of preparedness plans, and the improvement of preparedness plans based on the outcomes of drills and exercises.