The 1918 Flu Killed Millions. Does It Hold Clues for Today? (NYT)
It was the worst infectious disease epidemic ever, killing more Americans in just a few months than died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam Wars combined. Unlike most flu strains, which kill predominantly the very old and the very young, this one — a bird flu, as it turns out — struck young adults in their 20's, 30's and 40's, leaving children orphaned and families without wage earners.
So now, as another bird flu spreads across the globe, killing domestic fowl and some wild birds and, ominously, infecting and killing more than 100 people as well, many scientists are looking back to 1918. Did that flu pandemic get started in the same way as this one? Will today's bird flu turn into tomorrow's human pandemic?
comments powered by Disqus
James W Loewen - 3/31/2006
Anyone who claims the 1918 flu epidemic was "the worst infectious disease epidemic ever" knows no history before 1918. Consider the various Plagues in Europe/Asia, or, to be REALLY serious, the stunning plagues that decimated American Indians from 1493 to 1890 (and are even continuing today in the interior of Brazil).
- Holocaust Victims Mocked in Ohio State Band Parody Songbook
- Memphis attempt to drop name of Nathan Bedford Forrest runs into state law
- Overlooked: The 25th anniversary of Captive Nations Week
- In confession to historian, George McGovern revealed he had a secret child
- Revised AP U.S. History Standards Will Emphasize American Exceptionalism
- U.K. Released Hundreds of Nazis After the Holocaust, Says Leading Historian
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- Historians Against the War gathering signatures for new resolution to AHA on alleged violations of academic freedom in Israel
- Academic Seeks Death Certificate for Outlaw Billy the Kid
- Murderer of historian of Czech Jewry goes on trial