Baseball star Babe Ruth in his last year with the Boston Red Sox in 1919, one year after he survived the Spanish flu.

When Babe Ruth and the Great Influenza Gripped Boston

As Babe Ruth was emerging as baseball's great slugger in 1918, he fell sick with the flu

Philip Kahn, pictured on his 100th birthday with his grandson, Warren Zysman, and great-grandson

One Hundred Years After Influenza Killed His Twin Brother, WWII Veteran Dies of COVID-19

In the days before his death, the New York man spoke often of his lost twin and the lessons humanity seemed not to have learned

Though much has changed since 1918, the sentiments shared in writings from this earlier pandemic are likely to resonate with modern readers.

What We Can Learn From 1918 Influenza Diaries

These letters and journals offer insights on how to record one's thoughts amid a pandemic

A team photo of the 1919 team that won the Pacific Coast Hockey Association championship

When the Stanley Cup Final Was Canceled Because of a Pandemic

In 1919, a second wave of cases of the previous year's flu lead to the sudden death of the hockey championship

A ward at the Mare Island Naval Hospital in California during the influenza epidemic, November 1918

Ten Myths About the 1918 Flu Pandemic

The ‘greatest pandemic in history’ was 100 years ago – but many of us still get the basic facts wrong

This illustration, created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows the virus' spiky, crown-like fringe that shrouds each viral particle—giving it a “coronated” appearance.

A Guide to What to Know About COVID-19

As COVID-19 spreads around the globe, so does misinformation. Here, you can find facts about the virus and infection it causes

Coronaviruses, like the newly identified Wuhan coronavirus, are so named for their halo- or crown-like appearance.

Officials Pinpoint First COVID-19 Case in United States

The mostly mysterious pathogen is known to pass from person to person, causing respiratory illness

Each year, people need to get a new flu shot to protect against the latest version of the influenza virus, which rapidly mutates. A universal flu vaccine could protect people for life.

As the World Faces One of the Worst Flu Outbreaks in Decades, Scientists Eye a Universal Vaccine

A universal flu vaccine would eliminate the need for seasonal shots and defend against the next major outbreak

Llama antibodies are smaller than human ones, making them ideal for latching onto hard-to-reach areas of flu virus strains

Llama Antibodies May Be the Key to Flu Prevention

Researchers have created a llama-inspired mega protein capable of neutralizing 59 different strains of influenza

The Next Flu Pandemic Might Come From Dogs

A new study found two strains of swine flu in sickly pups in China

This digitally-colorized negative-stained transmission electron microscopic (TEM) image shows recreated 1918 influenza virions that were collected from supernatants of 1918-infected Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cells cultures 18 hours after infection.

Flu Skies: How Influenza Might Spread On a Plane

A new study suggests the chances of contracting a sick passenger's flu virus is surprisingly low

More women than men were left standing after the war and pandemic.

How the 1918 Flu Pandemic Helped Advance Women’s Rights

While the virus disproportionately affected young men, women stepped into public roles that hadn't previously been open to them

Hilleman's one-year-old daughter Kirsten (center, with her sister Jeryl Lynn and Dr. Robert Weibel) became the first to receive the mumps vaccine.

You Should Thank Maurice Hilleman for Helping You Live Past the Age of 10

A new Smithsonian podcast tells the story of the “Greatest Scientist of the 20th Century”

Simply Exhaling May Spread Flu

A new study suggests the virus is found in tiny airborne particles that can be released while breathing

Approximately 80 percent of all pharmaceuticals used by Americans are produced overseas.

A Saline Shortage This Flu Season Exposes a Flaw in Our Medical Supply Chain

Most IV saline bags used in U.S. hospitals are made in Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria has shown how troubling it can be to rely on one producer

Can you tell which is the face of someone who is sick? Take a good look. Images of 16 individuals (eight women) photographed twice were averaged, during experimentally induced (a) acute sickness and (b) placebo.

Could AI One Day Detect the Flu...Before You Even Feel Sick?

New research into the subtle facial signs of illness could one day help train artificial intelligence systems to scan for infections

The newly lifted funding ban allows for more research of viruses like influenza, SARS, and MERS. But critics worry it's a risky step.

NIH Lifts Ban on Funding High-Risk Virus Research

Manipulating viruses could help prepare the U.S. for future pandemics, but it could also risk starting the next outbreak

Two nurses observe a young child suspected to have bird flu at an observation room in the Hasan Sadikin Hospital in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia.

Where Would Pandemic Flu Wreak the Most Havoc?

A virulent flu strain would overwhelm developing countries where health care systems are already floundering

Discussion of our November Issue

Feedback from our readers

H1N1 influenza virus particles shown in a colorized transmission electron micrograph

Scientists Are One Step Closer to a "Personalized" Flu Shot

While still decades away, new research shows how custom vaccines could be developed

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