Historical fact

Flu has been already described by Hippocrates (412 B.C.) as an illness, which reminds flu. He described a disease that was incredibly contagious. When even a single person got ill, in several days’ time there were tens of affected and hundreds – in a week. All of them shared common traits – headache, pains in muscles and throat, and fever. The description of a next similar epidemic in 212 B.C. can be read in the works of a roman historian Titus Livius (Levy).

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Asian Flu

Asian Flu came from the Far East in 1957-1958. It was induced by virus H2N2. This flu spread through the whole world and reached the United States, where there were the most casualties. Overall, the Asian Flu claimed 70 000 lives.

Hong Kong Flu

In 1968, Asian Flu gave place to Hong Kong Flu, which was induced by virus H3N2 and was moderately severe. This flu came from Hong Kong and mostly affected the elderly, aged 60-70. The pandemic of Hong Kong flu claimed almost 34 000 lives.

Bird Flu

Bird Flu was first described by an Italian veterinarian Eduardo Perroncito and named “chicken typhus”. This is a classic bird plague characterized by damage to digestive system and respiratory system and high mortality. In the beginning of the XX century, outbursts of bird flu were regular in Europe, Africa and Asia. In 1901, scientists ascertained the viral origin of the disease for the first time, and in 1955, they ascertained that it was an influenza virus. In 1971, the disease became widely known as the “bird flu”. Only by 1997, it have been established that the bird flu virus can pass to human beings.

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Spanish Flu

The strongest and the most terrifying epidemic occurred in 1918. This deadly flu was named “Spanish Flu”, though scientists believe that it originates from China. The question is – why Spain? It was because the pandemic spread in the end of the First World War. Military censorship banned all publications about the epidemic, and it was first mentioned in Spain, which did not take part in the war. This is why everyone thought that the disease originated from Spain. First lethal cases were described by physicians in the United States in March 1918, and in the seaport towns in France, Spain and Italy in April 1919.

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Swine Flu

Initially, swine flu was spread only among pigs in North America and Mexico. Then, occasionally, it began to appear in humans, mostly in veterinarians and workers on pig farms. In April 2009, a strain of a new virus evolved through a combination of human and pig genes and bird flu. This virus was named “swine flu”, also known as A/H1N1. The first incidents of infection were registered in Mexico, then in Canada and the USA. The World Health Organization officially declared an outbreak of pandemic on 11th of June, 2009. During 2009-2011, approximately 1900 people died from swine flu. The virus affected mostly children and young people, from 5 to 24 years of age. The pandemic came to Russia in autumn 2009, its peak was in late October – early November. Overall, during this period over 2500 patients have been registered.