A New Pandemic Century: the Legacy of Influenza in 1919

Dr. Mitch Lewis Hammond

The influenza pandemic that ended in the spring of 1919 was one of the greatest demographic shocks in human history. It has been labelled “the mother of pandemics”—recent genetic analysis has shown that descendants of the causal virus have caused pandemics ever since. As families confronted loss, including the deaths of many young adults, research communities faced a disease that had unknown causes and forced a reassessment of medicine’s achievements in the early 20th century.