Clinical evidence that the pandemic from 1889 to 1891 commonly called the Russian flu might have been an earlier coronavirus pandemic Harald Brüssow and Lutz Brüssow
Contemporary medical reports from Britain and Germany on patients suffering from a pandemic infection between 1889 and 1891, which was historically referred to as the Russian flu, share a number of characteristics with COVID‐19. Most notable are aspects of multisystem affections comprising respiratory, gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms including loss of taste and smell perception; a protracted recovery resembling long covid and pathology observations of thrombosis in multiple organs, inflammation and rheumatic affections. As in COVID‐19 and unlike in influenza, mortality was seen in elderly subjects while children were only weakly affected. Contemporary reports noted trans‐species infection between pet animals or horses and humans, which would concur with a cross‐infection by a broad host range bovine coronavirus dated by molecular clock arguments to an about 1890 cross‐species infection event.