nd.gov - The Official Portal for North Dakota State Government North Dakota: Legendary. Follow the trail of legends
North Dakota Avian and Pandemic Flu Home Page Be Aware and Prepare
Skip to content

Understanding Terms – It is important to understand that seasonal flu, H1N1 (swine flu), avian (bird) flu and pandemic flu are not the same. Information about all four is included on this website, but it is important to know the difference between each.

Seasonal Flu – Refers to influenza that occurs every year. It is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted person to person. Most people have some immunity and a vaccine is available.

H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) – H1N1 (swine flu) is a type of influenza virus that causes respiratory disease that can spread among people. Most people infected with this virus in the United States have had mild disease, but some have had more severe illness. The symptoms of swine flu are similar to the symptoms of regular flu: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also have diarrhea and vomiting.

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) – Bird Flu is an infection caused by avian (bird) flu viruses. There are many different flu viruses that occur naturally among birds. Wild birds worldwide carry the viruses in their intestines but may not get sick from them. However, bird flu is easily spread among birds and can make some domesticated birds – including chickens, ducks and turkeys – very sick and may even kill them. Currently a strain of bird flu (H5N1) is causing concern about a possible influenza pandemic. 

Pandemic Flu – In order for influenza “outbreaks” or epidemics to reach a pandemic status, it must be occurring worldwide, not just in a single country or continent.

A pandemic can start when three conditions have been met:

  • A new influenza virus subtype emerges.
  • It infects humans, causing serious illness.
  • It spreads easily from person to person.
For World and National Information Visit: