H1N1 flu in Canada: outbreak or pandemic?

The county is watching the spread of H1N1: It's the predominant flu in Canada this winter.

Johanna Wagstaffe answers your questions in Science Smart, a weekly video column

An outbreak is local, like in a town. A pandemic is worldwide. 2:24

With theflu season well-underway, many questions are coming in about the difference between an outbreak and a pandemic.

But what factors characterize an influenza pandemic rather than a localized outbreak, and how does Health Canada monitors these changes?

In this week's Science Smart video column, the CBC's Johanna Wagstaffe tells us how a flu is tracked and when and how it's labelled as dangerous.

If you have a science question you'd like answered, send Johanna a tweet (@Jwagstaffe) or an email:


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.