[History of pandemic influenza in Japan].Nihon Rinsho 2010; 68(9):1595-601NR
In Japan, influenza like epidemics were described many times since Heian era. However, Spanish flu as the modern medicine invaded Japan in 1918, thus almost infected 390,000 patients died with associated pneumonia. After the discovery of influenza virus in 1933, Japan experienced pandemic influenza--Asian flu(H2N2) in 1957. After about 10 years, Hong Kong flu (H3N2) came to Japan at 1968. However, we had many reliable antibiotics but had not any antiviral drug at the early time. After year 2000, we fortunately obtained reliable three antiviral drugs such as amantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir. Moreover, very useful rapid test kits for influenza A and B viruses were developed and used in Japan. 2009 H1N1 influenza epidemic occured in Japan after the great epidemic in Mexico and North America but elderly patient was few. With together, host conditions regarding with high risk are changing. Lessons from past several pandemic influenza are those that many issues for changing high risk conditions, viral genetic changes, developing antiviral agents, developing new useful vaccins and determinating bacterial secondary pathogens are important.