Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense

Latest in Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense


Biodefense: Coordinating Our Response to Deadly Disease

Ninety-nine years ago, on March 11, 1918, mess cook Albert Gitchell reported sick to the camp infirmary in Fort Riley, Kansas. By noon, over 100 soldiers were hospitalized. Soldiers began to die. By the end of April, two-thirds of the main Army camps were suffering from the influenza epidemic. The Spanish flu had begun its spread in the United States. The virus eventually infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide, killing somewhere between 20 and 50 million—more people than were killed in World War I. Over half of the victims were young adults.

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