The 1918 Flu Killed Millions. Does It Hold Clues for Today? (NYT)Breaking News
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).
- Rise of Donald Trump Tracks Growing Debate Over Global Fascism
- Tales of African-American History Found in DNA
- History Celebrates New Show Roots With Project to Digitize Post-Slavery Documents
- In 1453, this Ottoman sultan ended Christian rule in Constantinople. But was he a good Muslim?
- Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation among documents sold for $6.2m in New York
- History Relevance Campaign meets at the Smithsonian
- Bernard Lewis Turns 100
- David Lowenthal, author of "The Past Is a Foreign Country,” says it’s folly to scratch the names of slaveholders off buildings
- Jean Edward Smith, biographer of FDR and Ike, has a new biography coming out … of George W. Bush
- Flora Fraser, biographer of George and Martha Washington, wins $50,000 George Washington Prize