Russian flu 1977/1978 - Russische Grippe 1977/1978
It was caused by influenza viruses of the subtype A / H1N1 , the subtype that had also caused the Spanish flu in the years after 1918 . This subtype was first isolated in Northern China in May 1977 , and by January 1978 it had spread worldwide.  
This is attributed by the experts to the fact that A / H1N1 was predominant worldwide from 1918 and was only replaced by the subtype A / H2N2 , the causative agent of Asian flu , in 1957 . Many born before 1957 had therefore already been exposed to this subtype and thus had a certain immune protection , but not those born after 1957. Since the wave of the disease was limited to young people, it is usually not classified as a pandemic .
The subtype A / H1N1 of the "Russian flu" was so similar to the subtype from the years before 1957 that the suspicion quickly arose that the virus had escaped from a Soviet or Chinese laboratory in the mid-1970s .  The small number of deviations ( mutations ) in his genome can only be explained by the fact that the virus had literally been frozen for decades. This thesis was also represented in 1992  by the renowned influenza researcher  Robert Webster .
The Russian flu of 1889/1890 was caused by a different subtype.
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- Alan P. Kendal, Gary R. Noble, John J. Skehel, Walter R. Dowdle: Antigenic similarity of influenza A(H1N1) viruses from epidemics in 1977–1978 to “Scandinavian” strains isolated in epidemics of 1950–1951. In: Virology. Band 89, Nr. 2, 1978, S. 632–636, doi:10.1016/0042-6822(78)90207-6
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- With reference to the TASS news agency , German media reported in 2009 that there were 700,000 deaths: the worst flu pandemics of modern times. On: welt.de
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