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The 1889 Russian flu

Some believe that the 1889 - 1890 Russian flu was caused by the influenzavirus A virus subtype H2N2, but the evidence is not conclusive. It is the earliest flu pandemic for which detailed records are available. The 1889 pandemic, known as the Russian Flu, began in Russia and spread rapidly throughout Europe. It reached North America in December 1889 and spread to Latin America and Asia in February 1890. About 1 million people died in this pandemic.

Figure 1. The 1889 Russian flu rode the rails to circle the globe in months.