Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Creating safer, stronger and active communities

Major Pandemics Last 100 Years

The table below shows the impact of some of the major respiratory virus pandemics and epidemics in the last 100 years

Major respiratory virus outbreaks

*the proportion of people who became ill with symptoms and subsequently died
Area of emergence
Estimated case fatality ratio*
Estimated attributable excess mortality worldwide
Estimated attributable excess mortality in the UK
Age groups most affected

Spanish Flu 1918 – 1919 Severe influenza pandemic

Unclear ≥ 2% 20 – 50
million
200,000 Young adults, elderly and young children

Asian Flu 1957 – 1958 Moderate influenza pandemic

Southern China 0.1 – 0.2% 1 – 4 million 33,000 Children

Hong Kong Flu 1968 – 1969 Moderate influenza pandemic

Southern China 0.2 – 0.4% 1 – 4 million 80,000 All age groups

Swine Flu 2009 – 2010 Very mild influenza pandemic

Mexico <0.025% 18,000 457 Children, young adults and pregnant women

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome 2012 Continuing coronavirus pandemic threat

Middle East

30% 8610 0 Elderly (60+)

Serious Acute Respiratory Syndrome 2002 - 2003 Severe coronavirus pandemic ‘near-miss’

China 10% 7740 0 Middle aged adults (45 - 65)

Seasonal flu epidemic 1989 - 1990 Severe influenza seasonal epidemic

UK Data not available Not applicable 26,000
excess deaths in England and Wales
Elderly 75+

 The UK is well prepared for disease outbreaks, having responded to a wide range of infectious disease outbreaks in the recent past, and having undertaken significant preparedness work for an influenza pandemic for well over one decade (eg. our existing plan ‘flu plans'). Our plans have been regularly tested and updated locally and nationally to ensure they are fit for purpose.