Gina Kolata. · Rating details · 5, ratings · reviews. In the Great Flu Epidemic killed an estimated 40 million people virtually overnight. If such a. Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of and the Search for the Virus That Caused It By Gina Kolata. New York: Farrar, Straus. It is sometimes called the “Spanish” flu, probably because neutral Spain did not censor The epidemic per se is not the main subject of Gina Kolata’s interesting .

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I’ll be back with my concluding thoughts. Before HIV appeared on the scene which would shift all infectious disease researchers in that direction there were teams of scientists searching for samples of the flu. Fku it is such an interesting topic for me I stuck with it, and I am glad I did.

My one real issue was the completely unnecessary pages of lists that Kolata put in – naming every. Starting with history and moving towards modern science, this is a great book for anyone interested in understanding influenza. One could turn to Crosby or Arnold for that.

Will fflu new anti-influenza agents provide sufficient protection against an extremely lethal virus? The problems of the vaccine show we must avoid making costly errors, as well. I read this one firstit was shorter. I also have a better understanding of why nearly? Unfortunately I found the writing horribly awkward and clunky. If you are interested in science, medicine, or history this could be a book for you. While inferring that dangerous new flu strains emerge from Southeast Asia, she makes no effort to address the distinct possibility of stopping the cycle by regulating China’s poultry industry.

I think this was a good, fast-paced interesting read until the end, when it devolved into scientific political struggles and a muddled message. An especially perplexing aspect of the disease is its W-shaped death curve: Hultin went on to igna a successful career as a pathologist but never stopped thinking about the virus.


Or was it a crossover from an animal disease, like the variant of swine flu that has been investigated as a possible culprit? You must accept the terms and conditions. Other times, her character assessments seem a bit harsh, like her easy dismissal of Kirsty Duncan in the Spitzbergen expedition. In it’s two phases lighter spring outbreak, followed by the massively deadly fall outbreak it managed to decrease the world population significantly and took out more lives kolaa WW1 The book was published inbut it reads like it was written just a few weeks ago.

Along the way, readers also get a picture of the research world: It came, it killed, it disappeared.

Flu: The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It

It’s thought that the flu may well have started in bird, passed to pigs where it mixed with a human flu, and was then transmitted to humans.

The book explores the spread of the virus and the search for it remnants in tissue samples to discover why it was so lethal and if a vaccine can be created against future outbreaks of this particular strain.

On the scientific side, Kolata provided no information about the process of “reassortment” that drives the evolution of flu viruses. An interesting look at a part of our history that can get glossed over sometimes.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. History and science, written like a mystery novel.


Gina Kolata describes an exciting tale of competition, disappointment, and ingenuity in finding the specimens that have been key to decoding the genetic makeup of the virus. Hultin, a scientist who made a significant discovery with the Spanish flu virus. Hultin managed to outflank them and successfully retrieved gna.

The media in was strangely silent, and the victims’ families and fku health officials seemed almost embarrassed to talk about it, a scenario similar to the ss early reaction on AIDS. If you like Gina Kolata, and getting caught in the rain Related articles in Google Scholar.


Kopata weaves history, global politics and forensic epidemiology together into a gripping and informative narrative. Open Preview See a Problem? During the course of this investigation they also found paraffin preserved lung tissue from victims of the flu stored at the National Tissue Repository maintained by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Jun 29, Gwen rated it liked it.

FLU by Gina Kolata | Kirkus Reviews

Rather, most deaths were caused by an overreaction of the body’s kolatx system, creating a cytokine storm that led to total respiratory failure. This book was just excellent and that’s all that needs to be said.

So many died, in fact, that the average life ginaa in the United States fell by twelve years in I also think this book could really use an updated edition. Add comment Close comment form modal. At one point, many of those studying the elusive influenza viruses dropped that work kolaata go after HIV. Receive exclusive offers and fli from Oxford Academic.

So there is this very unfortunate pig who becomes infected with a human virus and a bird virus at the same time. In Ebola virus also reared its ugly head in Africa. That’s some serious shit. And no area of the globe was safe. Although there is a little more scientific discussion than is probably necessary for the average lay-reader, don’t be scared off! While Hultin quietly collected his specimens in Alaska, a high profile team organized by a young, energetic Canadian geographer, Kirsty Duncan, selected Spitsbergen, Norway, for specimen collection.

Sep 23, Doreen Petersen rated it it was amazing Shelves: Instead, it operates as numerous detective stories, taking place immediately following the flu’s decline, and in the s, s, and s.