A Flu Pandemic Could Occur at Any Time
Experts say it’s not a matter of if, but when the next influenza pandemic is going to strike. A flu pandemic occurs when a new strain of flu virus is spread from another animal species, such as chickens, ducks or pigs, to humans.
Because it is a new strain, people will have no natural immunity to it and it can spread quickly, affecting millions of people. The most serious influenza pandemic to occur within the past century was the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, which is believed to have killed 50 million people around the world.
An April 2009 outbreak of H1N1 Influenza A originated in Mexico and the United States. It is estimated that approximately 150 people in Mexico, many of them young adults, died from influenza in that outbreak. A small number of H1N1 deaths have occurred in other countries.
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