Survivors of 1918 Flu Pandemic Immune 90 Years Later

From the Washington Post: Survivors of 1918 Flu Pandemic Immune 90 Years Later.

People who lived through the 1918 flu pandemic that killed 50 million worldwide are still producing antibodies to the virus 90 years later, researchers report.

"Most people have a notion that elderly people have very weak immunity or they have lost immunity," said lead researcher Dr. James E. Crowe Jr., a professor of pediatrics, microbiology and immunology at Vanderbilt University.

"This study shows that extremely elderly people have retained memory of being infected with the 1918 flu, even 90 years later," Crowe said.

This is the first evidence that shows that people developed significant immunity to the 1918 flu virus, Crowe said. "It’s important to know that you can develop immunity to such a pandemic virus. That has implications for new pandemic viruses," he said. [continue]

One thought on “Survivors of 1918 Flu Pandemic Immune 90 Years Later

  1. I’m always interested in this kind of story, because I have a natural immunity from smallpox. Can’t have a smallpox vaccination “take” because I was born with the immunity. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the vaccination and no result. Finally the Peace Corps sent my sample to the Naval Hospital at Bethesda for testing and that’s how I learned about my immunity. Must be a recessive gene or a natural mutation, because neither of my parents was like me that way. So if we ever have a smallpox outbreak, I’ll be the first to volunteer to assist patients/doctors/nurses.

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