By Victoria Lacroix
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Extra resources for All About Pandemics (Epidemic of Infectious Disease)
However, the actual prevalence varies between regions. Presently, Southern Africa is the hardest hit region, with adult prevalence rates exceeding 20% in most countries in the region, and 30% in Swaziland and Botswana. Eastern Africa also experiences relatively high levels of prevalence with estimates above 10% in some countries, although there are signs that the pandemic is declining in this region, notably in Uganda, which previously recorded one of the highest prevalence rates on the continent.
This was the first of several cholera pandemics to sweep through Asia and Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. This first pandemic spread over an unprecedented territory, affecting almost every country in Asia. Origin and initial spread Cholera was endemic to the Lower Ganges River (Ganges-rich, wealthy, abundant) with its prime headwaters at Rishikesh, Uttar Pradesh and subsequent rivers feeding into it from Nepal. At festival times, pilgrims brought the disease back to other parts of India, where it would spread, then subside.
These virus strains had undergone major genetic changes for which the population did not possess significant immunity. Recent genetic analysis has revealed that three-quarters, or six out of the eight genetic segments, of the 2009 flu pandemic strain arose from the North American swine flu strains circulating since 1998, when a new strain was first identified on a factory farm in North Carolina, and which was the first-ever reported triple-hybrid flu virus. The 1918 flu epidemic began with a wave of mild cases in the spring, followed by more deadly waves in the autumn, eventually killing hundreds of thousands in the United States.