As the U.S. begins its annual flu season, experts warn that the country is ill-prepared for a pandemic flu that could cause widespread disruption and death.  In a webinar Tuesday with the Association of Health Care Journalists, flu experts outlined potential problems that will occur if and when there is another flu pandemic. Those occur when there is a large mutation in the current circulating flu viruses that it is unlike previous strains or the emergence of a wholly new kind of strain, often from one that jumps from

animals like chickens or pigs to humans, said Dr. Sonja Olsen, deputy chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch in the Flu Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since 2013, the CDC has been monitoring an avian influenza strain called H7N9 that has caused some human infections, increasing from 135 cases to 759 in the last season that ended in August. About 70 percent of those patients ended up in intensive care units and 40 percent died, she said. However, the virus has not shown yet it can pass very well from human to human, Olsen said. READ MORE