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Influenza

The Hundred-Year Hunt to Cure the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic

“Highlights that influenza is still a real and present threat and demonstrates the power and limitations of modern medicine.” —The Wall Street Journal

“A surprisingly compelling and accessible story of one of the world’s most deadly diseases. It is timely and interesting, engaging and sobering.” —David Gregort, CNN political analyst and former moderator for NBC’s Meet the Press

A veteran ER doctor explores the troubling, terrifying, and complex history and present-day research of the flu virus, from the origins of the Great Flu that killed millions, to vexing questions such as: are we prepared for the next epidemic, should you get a flu shot, and how close are we to finding a cure?

While influenza is now often thought of as a common but mild disease, it still kills more than thirty thousand people in the United States each year. Dr. Jeremy Brown, a veteran ER doctor and director of the Office of Emergency Care Research at the National Institutes of Health, talks with leading epidemiologists, policy makers, and the researcher who first sequenced the genetic building blocks of the original 1918 virus to offer both a comprehensive history and a road map to protect us from the next outbreak.

Dr. Brown explores the terrifying and complex history of the flu virus and looks at the controversy over vaccinations and the federal government’s role in preparing for pandemic outbreaks. Though a hundred years of advancement in medical research and technology have passed since the 1918 disaster, Dr. Brown warns that many of the most vital questions about the flu virus continue to confound even the leading experts.

Tali Kozlowski

Dr. Jeremy Brown trained at University College School of Medicine in London and completed his residency in emergency medicine in Boston. He was the Research Director in the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University before moving to the National Institutes of Health, where he now directs its Office of Emergency Care Research. His opinion pieces have been published in The New York Times and The Washington Post, and he has written for Discover magazine.

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