A picture of an ambulance

A pandemic is a worldwide event in which many people are infected with a virus in a short time.

Three ways to prepare for and minimise illnesses:

  1.  Vaccines can help reduce your risk of severe illness. Contact your GP for eligibility requirements.
  2. Keep personal stocks of over-the-counter medication to help relieve symptoms.
  3. Good hygiene - regularly wash hands with soap and warm water and clean surfaces to remove germs.

Medical advice

Ask someone to collect your medication, shopping and general supplies so that you can remain home when you are ill. Go online to www.nhs.uk

NHS111 is the free 24/7 number to call when you have an urgent healthcare need. It directs you to the right local service, first time.

Have you got the NHS App? Download the NHS App for free from Google Play or Apple Store.

Over the past 25 years, more than 30 new, or newly recognised, infections have been identified around the world. The pattern of known infections also changes constantly, as the areas where disease is constantly present expand beyond traditional limits.