Scott Gordon

Series: The Flu And Wisconsin's Public Health

No two flu seasons are alike — from one year to the next, different types of the influenza virus dominate. Every year, virologists, health officials and healthcare providers marshall their resources to prevent and treat infections. When a flu season is particularly tough, as was the case in 2017-18, the illness tests limitations and vulnerabilities in the public health system. Wisconsin plays a crucial role in a nationwide network of influenza surveillance, which is also on guard for the emergence of a global flu pandemic. Meeting future challenges of influenza hinges on relationships that connect scientists and healthcare providers at local, state, federal and international levels.
 
Deadly global pandemics are rare enough to motivate widespread attention when they emerge, but people around the world face the threat of seasonal influenza every year.
"Spanish flu" ultimately killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide and 675,000 across the U.S., including 8,459 people in Wisconsin. History is resonating more than a century later as the state fights a new viral villain that has upended life across the world.
The 1918 influenza pandemic and how the ordeal played out in Wisconsin illuminates the scale at which the experience of and response to public health emergencies impact both human lives and the economy.
In Wisconsin, the First World War and 1918 flu pandemic came together in a typical yet tragic way.
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COVID-19 isn't the first deadly viral disease to have a big effect on Wisconsin. Steven Burg, a history professor at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, discusses the 1918 influenza pandemic and how the state responded to it more than a century ago.
The speed at which the novel coronavirus has raced around the world, and the severity of the disease it causes, has sparked interest in humanity's last experience with a contagion of such scale.
When a new and dangerous respiratory disease started racing around the globe in early 2020, it had been just over a century since humankind endured the 1918 influenza pandemic.
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Flu cases in Wisconsin have spiked significantly in February 2020, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
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Snow is usually the culprit when school is canceled in Wisconsin in winter. In the 2019-20 flu season, however, several schools around the state have closed due to illness.
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Hundreds of people in Wisconsin have been hospitalized for influenza so far in the 2019-20 season. Wisconsin Department of Health Services influenza surveillance coordinator Tom Haupt discusses this seasonal strains of the flu virus and why numbers are up for the season.