Deadly Diseases That Cross Species

11 (sometimes) deadly diseases that hopped across species (

Slide 3 of 12:            The 1918 influenza pandemic swept the world within months, killing an estimated 50 million people — more than any other illness in recorded history for the short time frame involved. The H1N1 influenza virus that infected more than one-third of the globe had an avian origin. First identified in the United States by military personnel in the spring of 1918, the virus killed an estimated 675,000 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).                                        Unlike some flu strains that mainly kill the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, the 1918 strain hit young adults hardest, as the older population seemed to have some immunity built up from a past H1N1 virus. In one year, the average life expectancy in the United States dropped by 12 years.                                        Another H1N1 virus, this one called (H1N1)pdm09 cropped up in the spring of 2009 and lasted until the next spring, with the CDC estimating some 60.8 million cases and 12,469 deaths in the U.S. Worldwide, the virus killed between 151,700 and 575,400 individuals, the CDC estimates. That virus appears to have originated in pig herds, with a so-called reassortment of influenza viruses — when the viruses swap genetic information — occurring naturally in North American and Eurasian pig herds.

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