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Survivors of 1918 Flu Pandemic Immune 90 Years Later

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posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 09:49 AM
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Survivors of 1918 Flu Pandemic Immune 90 Years Later


www.washingtonpost.com

SUNDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- People who lived through the 1918 flu pandemic that killed 50 million worldwide are still producing antibodies to the virus 90 years later, researchers report.

"Most people have a notion that elderly people have very weak immunity or they have lost immunity," said lead researcher Dr. James E. Crowe Jr., a professor of pediatrics, microbiology and immunology at Vanderbilt University.

"This study shows that extremely elderly people have retained memory of being infected with the 1918 flu, even 90 years later," Crowe said.

This is the first evidence that shows that people developed significant immunity to the 1918 flu virus, Crowe said. "It's important to know that you can develop immunity to such a pandemic virus. That has implications for new pandemic viruses," he said.

The report is published in the Aug. 17 issue of Nature.
(visit the link for the full news article)



[edit on 18-8-2008 by grover]




posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 09:49 AM
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Now this is fascinating. It also, I would think, bode well for developing future vacines for the flu.

For those who don't know the 1918 epidemic killed more people in 4 months than all the people killed during world war one.

www.washingtonpost.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 10:53 AM
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Not to mention the fact that that was just a fraction of the number of people who got the Spanish Influenza (I think the number was about 40%, but I'm probably wrong on the death rate).

It makes me wonder if scientists are trying stockpile samples of these antibodies.



posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 01:43 PM
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All this noise about pandemics. Do they know something we don't know?

btw,
The genesis of the Spanish flu epidemic was traced to an American Army training base in the midwest somewhere, where the recruits had just been given an 'experimental' flu vaccine. Something to keep in mind when the next lethal epidemic breaks out and we start wondering where it came from.




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