The timeline of avian influenza in humans



Abdulhamid Al-Tubuly*, Rida Al-Tubuly**

*Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, **Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Elfateh University, Tripoli, Libya

JMJ Vol.5 No. 1 (Spring) 2006: 8-13


The current outbreaks of avian influenza (bird flu) has attracted enormous attention both from the media and from general public alike. Influenza, although its name does not bring much fear to the common people like other infectious diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS do, it has been voted the deadliest disease of all times. Indeed, considering the number of lives it claimed in a short period of time a decade ago, it is by far the most fearful disease ever. Some estimated the dead from the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 to exceed 50 million people worldwide. Some observers even claimed it was the main reason that helped end the 1st world war. With the reconstruction of the deadly 1918 virus just few months ago (6th of October 2005), scientists hope to understand how pandemics start and hopefully how they end. This review is to sum up the timeline of events that took place ever since the Italian pandemic of “chicken fowl” back in 1878.

Keywords: Avian, Influenza, Bird, Flu, Timeline, Spanish flu, 1918