Earlier Pandemic Flu Wave May Protect Against Worse One Later
New evidence about the worldwide influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 indicates that getting the flu early protected many people against a second deadlier wave.
Akinso: New evidence about the worldwide influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 indicates that getting the flu early protected many people against a second deadlier wave.
Viboud: We were interested at looking at historical data from the catastrophic 1918-19 influenza pandemic, to look at cross-immunity between different of this pandemic.
Akinso: Dr. CÚcile Viboud is a staff scientist at the Fogarty International Center.
Viboud: By cross-immunity we mean immunity of protection between successive outbreaks of this pandemic. For instance people who are infected during the first outbreak are protected against infection in the second outbreak.
Akinso: American soldiers, British sailors and a group of British civilians who were afflicted by the first mild wave of influenza in early 1918 apparently were more immune than others to the severe clinical effects of a more virulent strain later in the year according to Dr. Viboud.
Viboud: The study suggests that individuals who were infected by mild form of influenza in the spring of 1918 were protected against death or clinical disease in the fall of 1918; when the more virulent form of the virus occurred.
Akinso: The 1918-1919 pandemic killed between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide and was unusually deadly in young adults, including soldiers. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. CÚcile Viboud