Recombinomics | Elegant Evolution

Home Founder What's New In The News Contact Us

Paradigm Shift

Viral Evolution

Intervention Monitoring

Vaccine Screening

Vaccine Development

Expression Profiling

Drug Discovery

Custom Therapies


1918 Case Fatality Rates

Recombinomics Commentary
December 1, 2004

>>"Based on past experience, we don't have to panic," Longini tells WebMD. "It's clear that pandemic flu is inevitable. It is going to happen, and it could be a fairly pathogenic strain and could be a real problem. Right now, H5N1 bird influenza looks like it is fatal in 70% of cases. But this 70% figure is totally absurd. It has never been true of any human flu strain. I have never seen any evidence that human influenza is anywhere near that virulent. Case fatality of even highly virulent strains are a couple of deaths per 10,000 people infected."<<

A review of case fatality estimates for the 1918/19 pandemic is in order.  In 1918 the world population was about 1.6 billion.  If 1/4 of the world's population was infected with H1N1 pandemic virus, that would be 400,000,000 infections.  A case fatality rate of 0.02% would have produced 80,000 deaths.  However, most estimates of the number of deaths from the pandemic are in the 20-50 million range, and many studies suggest the number was closer to 100 million.  Case fatality rate estimates have ranged from 2.5% for the entire world to 5-33% for selected populations for the 1918 pandemic.

Media link

Home | Founder | What's New | In The News | Contact Us

© 2004 Recombinomics.  All rights reserved.