[History of influenza epidemics and discovery of influenza virus]

Nihon Rinsho. 1997 Oct;55(10):2505-11.
[Article in Japanese]


Influenza epidemics occur almost annually, sometimes taking on a global scale and turning into pandemics. According to Noble, the first clearly recorded epidemic was one that struck Europe in 1173 to 1174. In Japan the first comprehensive review of epidemic records was made by Fujikawa in the early 20th century, who listed 46 epidemics between 862 and 1868. Of the ten pandemics since the 1700s that have been certified by Beveridge nine have struck Japan as well. The human influenza A virus was discovered in 1933 soon after Shope succeeded in isolating swine influenza A virus in 1931. Since the discovery studies in the influenza have made immense progress and have contributed greatly to not only virology but also immunology and molecular biology.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Disease Outbreaks / history
  • History, 17th Century
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, Ancient
  • History, Medieval
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human / history*
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Orthomyxoviridae / isolation & purification*