An influenza epidemic was first described in 1173, although there are reports of influenza as early as 412 BC. Recurrent epidemics and incidental pandemics caused by influenza virus are documented since the last 400 years. These were based upon clinical observation and epidemiology. Although a virus was suspected to be the cause of influenza infections, it was not until 1933 that influenza viruses were first isolated during an influenza epidemic in London. Only recently the virus causing the 1914-1918 pandemic (“Spanish flu”) was isolated from conserved lung tissue of an American soldier. The first influenza vaccine was licensed in 1945.

Additional Metadata
Keywords elderly, epidemiology, infectious diseases, influenza, vaccination
Promotor B.H.Ch. Stricker (Bruno) , J. van der Lei (Johan)
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam
Sponsor The author gratefully acknowledges the financial support for this thesis from the Medicines Evaluation Board
ISBN 978-90-8559-103-0
Persistent URL
Voordouw, A.C.G. (2005, November 23). Influenza Vaccination in Community Dwelling Elderly Persons. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from