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Flu season brings renewed pandemic concerns

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As 2014 begins, reports of serious flu activity are compared to the strain of H1N1 influenza of 2009 that was declared to be a global pandemic.

Even a common seasonal flu can be deadly. News reports from across North America over the weekend show a growing concern as reported cases of the flu increase, as well as deaths.

Reports from Toronto, Canada: There are 200 confirmed cases of the flu. Two of the six flu deaths in Toronto have been identified as H1N1 strains.

North Texas news stories: Flu cases are on the rise in North Texas. Eight people have died from the H1N1 strain of the flu in Dallas County thus far this season.

News from Portland, Oregon: Local emergency rooms are quickly filling up with flu victims and doctors said they are seeing a rise in H1N1. A 5-year-old boy from Eugene died from the flu at Oregon Health & Science University.

In the latest update released by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), twenty-five states are now reporting widespread levels of activity. The photo attached to this article shows a map of the flu activity by state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracks influenza activity year-round and publishes a report weekly on Fridays.

Surviving a pandemic

Many people probably don't think about the potential of a deadly a flu pandemic. The 2009 flu pandemic killed over 14,000 people worldwide, over 3,600 in North America. The deadly influenza epidemic of 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

Whether it is a full fledged pandemic, or just a typical seasonal outbreak, a flu can be deadly. You should keep your guard up to protect yourself against the flu.

You can find information on the CDC website on the 2013-2014 Influenza Season and Vaccine Information Statements that explain both the benefits and risks of a vaccine.

As flu season progresses we will watching and reporting on the trends.

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What's on your mind today?

What are your questions on the topics of surviving a pandemic and disaster preparedness? Follow Tom Peracchio ... The Guru 42 Blog, @Gu42 on Twitter , Guru42 on Google+ or Guru42 on Facebook.

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