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The name "Best Western" originated from the fact that most of the chain's original operators were west of the Mississippi River in the United States. By 1962, Best Western had the only hospitality reservations service covering the entire United States, and in 1963, was the largest motel brand in the industry with 699 member properties and 35,201 rooms.
Following warnings and increased preparedness in the 2000s, the 2009 swine flu pandemic led to rapid anti-pandemic reactions among Western countries. The H1N1/09 virus strain, with mild symptoms and low lethality, eventually led to a backlash over public sector over-reactiveness, spending, and the high cost/benefit of the 2009 flu vaccine.