Swine Flu Pandemic

President Barack Obama receives his flu jab during the 2009 swine flu pandemic
President Barack Obama receives his flu jab during the 2009 swine flu pandemic

Historical Context

In March 2009, a new strain of H1N1 influenza virus began circulating in Mexico. From there the virus rapidly spread around the world. The World Health Organization declared on 11 June 2009 that swine flu was the first pandemic of the 21st century.

Between 10-200 million people were infected with this particular strain of flu, and about 18,500 lab confirmed deaths occurred, and possibly as meany as 150,000 people died. Because this is less than the seasonal flu and was less than epidemiologists expected, the decision by the World Health Organization to declare swine flu a pandemic was controversial.

Swine flu was abnormal as it did not predominantly affect adults over 60. The pandemic began to taper off in November 2009 with cases falling sharply afterward until the WHO declared an end to the global outbreak on 10 August 2010.

Photo Info


Photographer: US Government
Date taken: December 20, 2009
Location taken: Washington D.C., USA

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Related Events

  • 2009-03-28 The first cases of H1N1 swine flu in the United States occur in two people in California
  • 2009-06-11 The World Health Organization declares H1N1 swine flu to be a global pandemic, the first such incident in over forty years
  • 2009-12-20 US President Barack Obama receives his vaccine jab against swine flu
  • 2010-01-26 The World Health Organization rejects claims that it overstated the severity of the swine flu pandemic under pressure from vaccine companies

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