Microbial Diseases A to Z | Disease Home Page | Bio 406 Home Page | MicroWorld


Influenza (The Flu) is one of the most prevalent and serious respiratory infections in the United States and the world, leading to 40,000 deaths annually in the US alone. Occasional outbreaks of particularly virulent strains, such as the 2009 H1N1 "swine flu" pandemic and the "bird flu" epidemic, are cause for headline news stories and world-wide vaccination campaigns. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic is thought to have infected ~ 22 million Americans, leading to 98,000 hospitalizations and 3,9000 deaths (estimates by CDC, see link below), while the H5N1 avian influenza epidemic, mostly in Asia, has resulted in 400 human cases and a 60% mortality.