Nine out of ten daycare centers are not prepared for a flu pandemic, reports WHTC in Michigan.

“Pandemic influenza is different than seasonal influenza,” said lead study author Dr. Timothy Shope of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “It is a novel virus that can be transmitted from person to person and to which most of the world’s population has no immunity.”

For seasonal flu, immunizations are the most effective tool for prevention, Shope said by email. But there’s no vaccine for pandemic influenza, and it takes months once a new virus is discovered to develop a new vaccine for it, he added.

During a pandemic with high rates of disease and death, public health officials may need to close daycare centers and schools to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“So pandemic influenza preparedness involves everything we normally do for seasonal influenza except immunization, but also relies on child care centers creating plans to identify who would be responsible for notifying them of closure, how to communicate with parents in the event of a closure, and encouraging parents to have alternative care plans,” Shope added.