Flu Pandemic History:

There have been three significant flu pandemics throughout the previous century.

The most deadly of this century’s pandemics was known as Spanish flu and killed approximately 50 million people worldwide. It started in America and infected 50% of the world’s population.

First reported in China in 1957 this strain of flu travelled around the globe in only 6 months, killed more than 1 million people and infected between 40 and 50% of the global population.

The most recent pandemic prior to swine flu was known as ‘Hong Kong’ flu and killed around 1 million people worldwide. This pandemic infected an estimated 500,000 Hong Kong residents, 15% of the population. In the United States, approximately 33,800 people died.

Between these pandemics, seasonal flu affects the general population every year and new vaccines are developed and administered accordingly. A global pandemic is only declared when the World Health Organisation is convinced that the virus has sustained person to person transmission within 2 or more countries.