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  • History of Influenza

    • In 412 BC Hippocrates describes influenza for the first time and Diodorus Siculus records a flu-like epidemic that swept through the Athenian army in Sicily.

    • In 1357 AD, the word influenza is used in Italy meaning influence. The development of the flu was popularly blamed on the influence of the stars.
    • In 1485 an illness with flu-like symptoms is described and thousands of people die in Britain, including the mayor. Doctors prescribe tobacco juice, lime juice and bleeding to cure patients.
    • In 1580 the first flu pandemic is recorded and infects Asia, Africa, Europe and America. Over 90 percent of the world's population is affected and mortality is extremely high.
    • During 1918 - 1920 the Spanish flu becomes the worst pandemic in history.
    • In 1933 the first human influenza virus is isolated in a lab.
    • During the 1940's a crude vaccine is introduced.
    • During 1957 the Asian flu circles the globe.
    • During 1960s modern vaccines become widely available.
    • In 1966, the first antiviral flu drug effective against influenza A is introduced.
    • During 1968 the Hong Kong flu begins.
    • During the 1990s researchers target and disable the flu at the cellular level.
    • In 1997 the Avian flu appears in Hong Kong.
    • In 1999 Tamiflu and Relenza are approved by the FDA for the treatment of influenza strains A and B.

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