Influenza: the Terror of 1918

Photo Courtesy of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

It started slowly, with one patient at a time. Trickling slowly from military bases to small towns, from small towns to large cities, it gathered speed and devastated with an unrelenting ferocity. For one year it ravaged the nation, distorting the American way of life and creating a landscape of fear.

One hundred years later, the influenza epidemic of 1918 and 1919 reads like something out of a horror story. We…