After the Spanish flu we didn’t see any new flu strains for forty years. Now novel strains are increasingly popping up.
How is it the flu has managed to stay around for so long, and why haven't we beaten it yet?
As part of pandemic preparation, in the early 2000s many countries amassed large stockpiles of the influenza neuraminidase inhibitor Tamiflu.
One of the biggest recent controversies in medicine involves the effectiveness of the antiviral drug Tamiflu. Governments have stockpiled the drug but many have raised doubts about its usefulness.
The pandemic flu virus spread around the world in several waves, causing illness in 20% to 50% of infected people and death in 1% to 5%.
British Red Cross/Flickr
The great influenza pandemic of 1918-19, often called the Spanish flu, caused about 50 million deaths worldwide; far more than the deaths from combat casualties in the World War One (1914-18). In fact…