The most promising way to deal with a possible reoccurrence (of Influenza) is, to sum it up in a single word, ‘preparedness’ and now is the time to prepare.” – Rupert Blue 1918, Surgeon General of the US, 1912–20 (Barry, 2005)

Many books have been written about the Spanish flu which has gone down in history as the worst ever influenza pandemic, and in terms of mortality, has to-date only ever been surpassed by the Black Death in the Middle Ages. Unlike SARS, there are very few, if any, people left alive who will remember the Spanish influenza outbreak. However, since the end of that pandemic, researchers have endeavoured to identify the origin of the outbreak. No conclusive evidence has ever been ...

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