Influenza: The Hundred Year Hunt To Cure The Deadliest Disease In History

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A veteran ER doctor explores the troubling, terrifying, and complex history and present-day research of the flu virus, from the origins of the Great Flu that killed millions, to vexing questions such as: are we prepared for the next epidemic, should you get a flu shot, and how close are we to finding a cure?

While influenza is now often thought of as a common and relatively mild disease, it still kills over 30,000 people in the US each year. Dr. Jeremy Brown, currently Director of Emergency Care Research at the National Institutes of Health, expounds on the flu’s deadly past to solve the mysteries that could protect us from the next outbreak. In the “gripping…extensively researched” (Gail D’Onofrio MD, Yale School of Medicine) Influenza, he talks with leading epidemiologists, policy makers, and the researcher who first sequenced the genetic building blocks of the original 1918 virus to offer both a comprehensive history and a roadmap for understanding what’s to come.

Dr. Brown digs into the discovery and resurrection of the flu virus in the frozen victims of the 1918 epidemic, as well as the bizarre remedies that once treated the disease, such as whiskey and blood-letting. Influenza also breaks down the current dialogue surrounding the disease, explaining the controversy over vaccinations, antiviral drugs like Tamiflu, and the federal government’s role in preparing for pandemic outbreaks. Though 100 years of advancement in medical research and technology have passed since the 1918 disaster, Dr. Brown warns that many of the most vital questions about the flu virus continue to confound even the leading experts.

Influenza is a “compelling and accessible story of one of the world’s most deadly diseases. It is timely and interesting, engaging and sobering” (David Gregory, CNN political analyst). It offers an enlightening and unnerving look at a shapeshifting deadly virus that has been around long before people—and warns us that it may be many more years before we are able to conquer it for good.


  • 001 Influenza Open

    Duration: 18s
  • 002 Influenza Prologue

    Duration: 14min
  • 003 Influenza Ch01

    Duration: 40min
  • 004 Influenza Ch02

    Duration: 30min
  • 005 Influenza Ch03

    Duration: 46min
  • 006 Influenza Ch04

    Duration: 31min
  • 007 Influenza Ch05

    Duration: 40min
  • 008 Influenza Ch06

    Duration: 42min
  • 009 Influenza Ch07

    Duration: 25min
  • 010 Influenza Ch08

    Duration: 43min
  • 011 Influenza Ch09

    Duration: 28min
  • 012 Influenza Ch10

    Duration: 28min
  • 013 Influenza Epilogue

    Duration: 14min
  • 014 Influenza Credits

    Duration: 31s