- Molecular Structure
- Genetic Change
- Subtype H5N1
- Organizations' Roles
- Current Research
1918 – “Spanish” flu (H1N1) kills 50 million people in a span of approximately three months.
1957 – “Asian” flu (H2N2) kills 1-4 million people. (Human virus recombined with bird virus).
1968 – “Hong Kong” flu (H3N2) kills 1-2 million people. (Human recombined with bird).
1996 – H5N1 is first isolated from a goose in Guangdong, China. At the time, it causes HPAI, but is limited to birds only.
1997 – H5N1 begins infecting Hong Kong poultry. It jumps to humans, infecting 18 and killing 6.
2003 – H7N7 infects 83 people, killing one. H5N1 is found in South Korea and Vietnam, although it has picked up a “Z-genotype”.
2004 – H5N1 and H7N3 infect hundreds of people in Vietnam and Thailand.
2006 – H5N1 travels the globe, hitting Europe but has not reached the United States.
Note: The death rates quoted here are estimates provided largely by research by the CDC and WHO. However, current research points to the fact that avian flu may play a significant role in deaths not directly caused by avian flu. For example, deaths linked to SARDS may be in fact due to avian flu, which triggers and worsens SARDS. Thus, the estimates quoted may be well under the true death toll caused by avian flu. Statistical analysis of mortality rates for a number of nations suggest that avian flu in fact has reached pandemic-level proportions in cycles of 11 years, beginning with 1918, but that these pandemics were not noted at the time because causes of death were given as respiratory-illnesses, while avian flu was in fact the lurking cause of illness.