H1N1

H1N1 is the name given to a particularly dangerous subtype of the influenza A virus and has had periodic outbreaks throughout history. In 2009, the WHO declared a pandemic when one strain of H1N1, known as Swine Flu, caused up to 575,000 deaths worldwide. The pandemic was announced to be over by August 2010. However, H1N1 is best remembered for causing the devastating ‘Spanish Flu’ outbreak in 1918, one of the deadliest pandemics in history. Soldiers returning from Europe after World War 1 spread the virus around the world, resulting in 50 million deaths in a single year. The term ‘Spanish Flu” was adopted because Spain was the first country to report on the outbreak. 

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