Influenza (flu) is one of the most likely viruses to cause a pandemic - the worldwide spread of an epidemic. Unlike a normal flu virus, which is seasonal (October to May in the UK), a flu pandemic can occur at any time.
Swine flu is a fairly new strain of flu, and was responsible for a pandemic during 2009 to 2010. Vaccination against swine flu is included in the annual flu vaccine.
Bird (avian) flu
Avian flu is a disease of birds, and risks to public health are low. Members of the public should report dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead birds such as gulls or birds of prey to DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) on 03459 335577.