Case Studies in Earth & Environmental Science Journalism

Flu: When to Cry Wolf - 1918 or today?

Questions to Ponder and Discuss


Old Science Journals :

British Medical Journal. p11, January 5, 1918.

Trench fever and the notification of influenza. British Medical Journal. p40, January 5, 1918.

The influenza pandemic. British Medical Journal. p39, July 13, 1918.

Epidemic Influenza. Journal of the American Medical Association. 71: 1136-1137, 1918.

Soper, George A. The influenza pneumonia pandemic in the American Army camps during September and October, 1918. Science. Vol. XLVIII: 451-456, 1918.

 Anti-influenza measures in schools. Journal of the American Medical Association. 71: 1929, 1918.

Evans, W. A., Armstrong, D.B., Davis, William H., Kopf, E.W., and Woodward, William C. Report of a special committee of the American Public Health Association. Journal of the American Medical Association. 71: 2068-2073, 1918.

Old Popular Articles .

Fear influenza outbreak among sailors may spread. Boston Globe Daily. September 6, 1918.

Takes steps to stop influenza spread. New York Times. September 14, 1918.

Simply grippe, Rear Admiral Wood says. Boston Daily Globe. September 15, 1918.

2,000 Influenza cases in Boston. Chicago Daily Tribune. September 15, 1918.

Grippe making great headway. Boston Daily Globe. September 17, 1918.

Sixteen deaths in Boston. New York Times. September 17, 1918.

Common sense about the epidemic. Boston Daily Globe. September 18, 1918.

Devens excited by Spanish Influenza. Boston Daily Globe. September 18, 1918.

Vigorous action to stamp out grippe. Boston Daily Globe. September 18, 1918.

Influenza spreading to civil population. Los Angeles Times. September 19, 1918.

Cover up each cough and sneeze; If you don’t you’ll spread disease. Boston Daily Globe. September 20, 1918.

Dr. Woodward confident worst of contagion over. Boston Daily Globe. September 20, 1918.

Wants Boston schools closed. Boston Daily Globe. September 20, 1918.

Influenza cases on the increase. Boston Daily Globe. September 21, 1918.

Predicts influenza cases will decrease. Los Angeles Times. September 23, 1918.

Influenza toll in Boston for day 87. Boston Daily Globe. September 24, 1918.

Fight influenza here. The Washington Post. September 25, 1918.

State-wide call to stop all gatherings. Boston Daily Globe. September 26, 1918.

Influenza sweeps over the country. Boston Daily Globe. September 26, 1918.

Public gatherings barred till Oct. 7. Boston Daily Globe. September 27, 1918.

Doctors of U.S. open campaign here to end flu. Chicago Daily Tribune. December 10, 1918.

Influenza epidemic not expected here. New York Times. December 13, 1918.

Health officers split on influenza scourge. New York Times. December 13, 1918.

Experts tell way of dealing with influenza. Chicago Daily Tribune. December 14, 1918.


The medical and scientific conceptions of influenza. Accessed: November 2, 2005.

The public health response. Accessed: November 2, 2005.

Recent Science Journals

Starr, Isaac. Influenza in 1918: Recollections of the epidemic in Philadelphia. Annals of Internal Medicine. 85: 516-518, 1976.

Rockafellar, Nancy. “In gauze we trust”: Public health and Spanish Influenza on the home front, Seattle, 1918-1919. Pacific Northwest Quarterly. 77: 104-113, 1986.

Stephenson, Joan. Progress treating, preventing influenza. Journal of the American Medical Association. 280: 1729-1730, 1998.

Potter, C.W. A history of influenza. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 91: 572-579, 2001.

Olson, Donald R., Simonsen, Lone, Edelson, Paul J., and Morse, Stephen S. Epidemiological evidence of an early wave of the 1918 influenza pandemic in New York City. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102: 11059-11063, 2005. 

Government Documents

Crosse, Marcia. Influenza pandemic: Challenges remain in preparedness. United States Government Accountability Office: Testimony before the subcommittee on health, committee on energy and commerce, House of Representatives. May 26, 2005.

Gellin, Bruce G. Pandemic influenza preparedness. United States Department of Health and Human Services: Testimony before the committee on government reform United States House of Representatives. June 30, 2005.

Internal memo on influenza vaccine availability. New York-Presbyterian Hospital, as recommended by Center for Disease Control and Occupational Health Service. September 2005.

Recent Popular Articles

Henig, Robin Marantz. Flu pandemic: A lethal strain of the virus killed more than 20 million in 1918.  Scientists say it’s time for another, and modern medicine may not be of much help. New York Times. November 29, 1992.

Kolata, Gina. Genetic material of virus from 1918 flu is found. New York Times. March 21, 1997.

Altman, Lawrence K. Scrambling for flu’s secrets. New York Times. December 30, 1997.

Altman, Lawrence K. When a novel flu is involved, health officials get jumpy. New York Times. December 30, 1997.

Wilford, John Noble. In the Norwegian permafrost, a new hunt for the deadly 1918 flu virus. New York Times. August 21, 1998.

Gross, Terry. Interview with author John Barry about the 1918 influenza virus that killed millions. Fresh Air, WHYY. April 5, 2004.

Taubenberger, Jeffery K., Reid, Ann H., Fanning, Thomas G. Capturing a killer flu virus. Scientific American. January 2005.

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