Friday, December 13, 2013
By Donald A. Henderson : Professor of Public Health and Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh
Beginning in February 1957, a new influenza strain virus (known to virologists as H2N2) emerged in China. Throughout April, May, and June, it spread steadily and rapidly across Asian and Middle Eastern countries. There was one question in everyone’s minds: Would the new virus behave like the feared 1918 virus, which had caused tens of millions of deaths? Or would it behave like the ordinary influenza strains with which physicians were familiar? This November 1957 conference, organized by the New York Academy of Medicine and broadcast by WNYC, attempted to provide some answers.