With the swine flu outbreak, the good news is that, at the moment, we are not dealing with a 1918 style pandemic. The current H1N1 strain -- "H1"
Already we are seeing disruptions to operations in the U.S. as well as other areas, particularly Mexico. For example, New York City has experienced the greatest number of swine flu cases to date in the U.S. The city has stepped up its efforts to prepare for an expanded event. The city of Mexico City is on the verge of shutting down all operations.
Various national health authorities globally were concerned about a possible H5N1 outbreak in 2007. Many of the procedures that were put into place to deal with a potential H5N1 catastrophe (information dissemination, vaccine dissemination, antiviral stockpiles, etc.) remain applicable for combating this new H1N1 strain.
As you probably know, once you have the flu, you develop a natural resistance to not just that specific strain, but any strain that is somewhat similar. H1 has been present in the U.S. for years and H1 strains regularly make it into American flu vaccines. Since it is believed that the H1 portion of this new virus is the one that's changed, in theory this will provide Americans with some limited protection.