The Hong Kong Flu


Photo of women wearing masks to walk somewhere.

The Hong Kong Flu was a global outbreak of influenza. The Hong Kong Flu's first victim was in China, but this wasn't an influenza virus that had been seen before. The Hong Kong Flu was a subtype of the influenza A subtype H2N2 virus, called influenza A subtype H3N2. The virus spread more quickly than previous influenza outbreaks, so it amassed 500,000 cases within two weeks of the first case being reported. And, before long, the virus had made its way through Asia and into the United States. Even though the H3N2 virus did not kill as many people as the H1N1 virus did, it was remarkably contagious, which made it dangerous and extremely easy to pass from place to place. This outbreak, now called a pandemic came in two waves. The first wave swept across the globe, putting the entire human race in a panic for a cure or a help. The second wave killed more people than the first wave did.

The symptoms of the influenza A subtype H3N2 are typical of any influenza virus, including fever, cough, chills and muscle weakness and pain. There was a vaccine made for the H3N2 virus, but it came around after the pandemic peaked in most places. The virus still exists today, and is no longer a threat to humans, as we have a vaccine. H3N2 is considered a seasonal strain of influenza.

Some Notable Statistics:

Total Deaths: 1-4 Million

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