Back in the day, whenOutdoor flu ward, 1918, Walter Reed Hospital
I was the kind of scientist who worked in a lab, I spent seven years deciphering the genetic sequence of the 1918 influenza virus at the in Washington D.C. The pandemic caused by this virus, which erupted in three distinct waves beginning in the late summer of 1918 and ending in the spring of 1919, killed somewhere between 20 and 50 million people worldwide. Never before or since has an influenza virus killed so many, nor returned in so many waves so quickly. Could it happen again? Could the outbreaks of avian influenza (subtype H5N2) currently devastating chicken farms in the Midwest lead to 1918-scale disaster?