The 1889–1890 flu pandemic, also known as the "Asiatic flu"[1] or "Russian flu", was a pandemic that killed about 1 million people worldwide,[2][3] out of a population of about 1.5 billion. It was the last great pandemic of the 19th century.[4]

The most reported effects of the pandemic took place from October 1889 to December 1890, with recurrences in March to June 1891, November 1891 to June 1892, winter 1893/1894, and early 1895.

It is not known for certain what agent was responsible for the pandemic. Since the 1950s it has been conjectured to be Influenza A virus subtype H2N2.[5][6][7] A 1999 seroarcheological study found the strain to be Influenza A virus subtype H3N8.[8] A 2005 genomic virological study says that "it is tempting to speculate" that the virus might not have been an influenza virus, but human coronavirus OC43.[6] Danish researchers reached a similar conclusion in 2020, in a study which had not been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal as of November 2020. They described the symptoms as very like those of COVID-19.[9]