Journal article

Back to the Future: Lessons Learned From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Kirsty R Short, Katherine Kedzierska, Carolien E van de Sandt

Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology | FRONTIERS MEDIA SA | Published : 2018


2018 marks the 100-year anniversary of the 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed ~50 million people worldwide. The severity of this pandemic resulted from a complex interplay between viral, host, and societal factors. Here, we review the viral, genetic and immune factors that contributed to the severity of the 1918 pandemic and discuss the implications for modern pandemic preparedness. We address unresolved questions of why the 1918 influenza H1N1 virus was more virulent than other influenza pandemics and why some people survived the 1918 pandemic and others succumbed to the infection. While current studies suggest that viral factors such as haemagglutinin and polymerase gene segments most l..

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