Opinion: To thwart flu pandemics, we need to decode the human immune system

The time has come to mount an all-out assault on flu by decoding the human immune system.
A nurse takes a patient's pulse in the influenza ward at Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, D.C., during the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed an estimated 50 million people around the world. Source: Library of Congress

Last year was Australia’s worst for flu since 2009. During the winter of 2017, which ended in August, there were 2.5 times more cases of influenza than in 2016, along with twice as many flu-related hospitalizations and . This presaged the in the Northern Hemisphere, which is on pace to be one of the worst in recent years. In addition, a simmering outbreak of an avian flu virus in China has of nearly 1,600 persons infected since 2013. Those are two ominous signs as we mark the centennial of the greatest influenza outbreak in history, the that killed an estimated 50

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