Reviews Book

Hunting the 1918 Flu: One Scientist's Search for a Killer Virus

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 18 September 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:687
  1. Fred Charatan, retired geriatric physician (
  1. Boynton Beach, Florida, USA

    Kirsty Duncan, a professor of medical geography at the University of Toronto, has written about a 1998 expedition to retrieve tissues from people buried in Spitzbergen, Norway, who were killed by the 1918 flu pandemic.

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    Kirsty Duncan

    University of Toronto Press, £22.50/US$35, pp 297 ISBN 0 8020 8748 5

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    In three waves, the pandemic raged in every continent except Antarctica. It is estimated to have killed 20 to 40 million people and it is well described here in a 22 page introductory review. Fifteen years after the pandemic, Christopher Andrews and Wilson Smith, at the National Institute for Medical …

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