The 1976 swine-flu epidemic

One flu over the cuckoo nest: Frequent Wired contributor Patrick di Justo looks at the 1976 government panic over an outbreak of swine flu at Fort Dix, NJ, and what the Obama administration can learn from that debacle, which resulted in a mass immunization program that the public saw as killing old people and crippling young people. Contains some interesting facts about how influenza viruses mutate: it seems to undergo a significant genetic change every ten years or so — see 1938, 1947, 1957 (60,000 dead in the U.S.) and 1968 (the dreaded Hong Kong flu). (Salon)

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