11. Swine Flu
St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens where the swine flu outbreak began in New York City. Photo by Jim Henderson from Wikimedia Commons.
The swine flu, a pandemic of a novel strain of the influenza A/H1N1 virus, began in the spring of 2009 and claimed the lives of 105 New York City residents and 101 residents of New York state. The swine flu killed around 3,400 people in the United States and infected around 115,000. On April 24, 2009, 150 students at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens complained of flu-like symptoms, and two days later the CDC confirmed that the cases were associated with swine flu.
New York’s first death occurred just a month later on May 17 when the assistant principal of the school succumbed to the disease,, and by July 24 there were 2,738 confirmed swine flu cases. By January 2010, the flu started to die down, but the swine flu went down in history as one of the most costly pandemics in United States history.