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Medical News & Perspectives
November 6, 2019

The Search for a Universal Flu Vaccine Heats Up

JAMA. 2019;322(20):1942-1944. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.16816

Just over a century ago, a calamitous influenza outbreak swept across the globe, infecting a fifth of the world’s population and killing between 50 million and 100 million people in the space of a year.

It’s easy to assume that modern medicine protects humankind from the likes of 1918’s devastating Spanish flu. But experts warn that the world’s much larger population—increasingly connected both geographically and economically—is more vulnerable now than ever.

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