People and animals live side by side – and can have pathogens in common.
No one then knew a virus caused the 1918 flu pandemic, much less that animals can be a reservoir for human illnesses. Now virus ecology research and surveillance are key for public health efforts.
An injectable flu vaccination. Flu vaccines lessen the likelihood of getting the flu and its severity.
The 1918 flu pandemic has long puzzled those who study disease outbreaks. Why was it so severe? While that question is hard to answer, one thing is certain: Vaccines would have lessened the toll.
It can be difficult to find records from epidemics long past.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
One hundred years after a strange and devastating pandemic, researchers comb for clues in dusty libraries, church records and long- forgotten books.
More women than men were left standing after the war and pandemic.
Library of Congress
With many men 'missing' from the population in the aftermath of the 1918 flu, women stepped into public roles that hadn't previously been open to them.
A CDC scientist measures the amount of H7N9 avian flu virus grown in a lab.
James Gathany/CDC/Handout via REUTERS
Science has come a long way in the 100 years since the worst flu pandemic in history. But that doesn't mean that the country is ready for another health disaster.
Influenza victims crowd into an emergency hospital near Fort Riley, Kansas in 1918.
AP Photo/National Museum of Health
Don't believe these 10 common myths about the 1918 Spanish flu.
Beds with patients in an emergency hospital in Camp Funston, Kansas, during the influenza epidemic around 1918.
National Museum of Health and Medicine.
Many healthy young men and women, including military personnel, died in the 1918 flu pandemic. It's a reminder of how dangerous influenza can be.