#25 The Asian Flu – China, 1957
The 1957 Asian flu was an outbreak of influenza A virus subtype H2N2 that started in Guizhou, China and later spread to the neighbouring provinces taking the entire country in its grip by March of that year.
Since China wasn’t part of the World Health Organisation at the time of this pandemic, it didn’t alert other countries of the outbreak. As a result, the disease seeped into other South Asian countries including Singapore, Taiwan. The disease reached the west in June 1957 to the United States and the United Kingdom, affecting school children the most as schools had resumed after the summer break.
The 1957 pandemic created an economic depression in the west, causing the stock market to lose 15% value. Many mines and factories were shut down in the UK, and schools in Ireland were severely affected.