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Epidemics / Pandemics
Health care professionals regularly monitor emergency room visits, ambulance runs, pharmacy sales, and school absenteeism to determine the threat level of new or reoccurring biological hazards.

It is important to talk with your local public health officials and health care providers, who can supply information about the signs and symptoms of a specific disease outbreak and can recommend prevention and control actions.

Seasonal Influenza

Seasonal influenza is more commonly known as the flu, referring to illness caused by a number of different influenza viruses. The common cold and flu are often mistaken due to similar symptoms, but the flu typically is more severe. In the City of Grapevine, flu season occurs most often during the winter months.

Three types of flu viruses are present within the United States. Flu viruses are classified into A, B, and C types. The A and B virus types cause epidemic outbreaks every year in the United States, while type C infections cause mild respiratory illnesses not considered epidemic.

When a new influenza A virus emerges that has little or no immunity within the human population, a global flu pandemic occurs. The viruses are able to spread extremely easily between persons and may cause serious illnesses in humans.

The H1N1 (Swine Flu) was an example of a global pandemic as it was a new type A influenza virus that caused a global outbreak. H1N1 is still a present strain of the virus and is expected to circulate as a seasonal virus. Because of this, separate vaccines for H1N1 are no longer required.

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus is a mosquito borne illness that poses threats to the citizens of Grapevine. West Nile Virus season typically occurs during late summer and early fall months. The virus is spread to the human population by a bite from an infected female mosquito. While the potential to contract the virus remains relatively low, it is important to follow simple steps to limit individual exposure:

• Drain standing water sources on or around your home or business
• When outdoors, use insect repellant containing DEET
• Dress in long sleeves and long pants when working outdoors
• Mosquitos are most active at dawn and at dusk, so limit outside activities during these times