Flu Pandemic History:

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

1918:
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.


1957:
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.


1968:
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.