The 1918 Pandemic
The 1918 influenza pandemic was a catastrophic series of influenza outbreaks across the globe, which affected approximately one fifth of the entire worlds population. Exact mortality figures are difficult to determine, but it is estimated more people died in the 1918 flu pandemic than died in the First World War. In fact, more soldiers died of flu than as a result of direct combat injuries (see the documents from Newfoundland Regiment).
Very recent research that has sequenced the H1N1 1918 genes identifies the virus as originating in birds. From the NY Times, Oct 5 2005:
Two teams of federal and university scientists announced today that they had resurrected the 1918 influenza virus, the cause of one of history’s most deadly epidemics, and had found that unlike the viruses that caused more recent flu pandemics of 1957 and 1968, the 1918 virus was actually a bird flu that jumped directly to humans.
There are numerous resources about this pandemic available.
- The Wikipedia entry on the 1918 Pandemic
- Dr. Taubenberger Answers at FluWiki March 2006. JKT clarifies Protocol in Sequencing the 1918 Pandemic Strains and resulting knowledge in Pathophysiology of Influenza. Identity not validated.
- Synopsis and overview from Stanford University site
- PBS American Experience documentary
- Animated graphic
depicting the spread of the 1918 outbreak across the United States
- Emergency hospital during 1918 influenza epidemic, Camp Funston, Kansas
Source: National Museum of Health and Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C., Image NCP 1603
- U.S. Army Camp Hospital No. 45, Aix-Les-Bains, France, Influenza Ward No. 1, 1918
Source: National Museum of Health and Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C., Image Reeve 14682
- Documents from the Newfoundland Regiment and the flu
- Is the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Over?
A Study on the long-term effects of in utero influenza exposure in the post-1940 U.S. population by Douglas Almond. Columbia University and NBER, July 2005
- Dorothy Day writing on the 1918 Flu
- 1918 age distribution of mortality (Boston)
- 1918 Testimonials
This is a collection of Spanish Flu testimonials collected over the threads of the FluWiki Forum.
- The 1918-1920 Influenza Pandemic Escape Community Digital Document Archive from U Michigan, chronicling 1918 communities with low attack rates
- See the full list of links on the Links and Other Resources page.