1918 pandemic survivors tell their stories

Aug. 21, 2008 at 6:13 PM

ATLANTA, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- In an effort to put a face on pandemic planning, the stories of 50 people who survived the 1918 Spanish Flu are available online, U.S. health officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the online storybook Thursday containing narratives from survivors, families and friends about the most devastating epidemic in recorded history, which killed more than 50 million.

"Complacency is enemy No. 1 when it comes to preparing for another influenza pandemic," Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC, said in a statement. "These stories, told so eloquently by survivors, family members and friends from past pandemics, serve as a sobering reminder of the devastating impact that influenza can have and reading them is a must for anyone involved in public health preparedness."

The storybook provides valuable insight for public health officials and the public in preparing for the possibility of another pandemic sometime in the future, Gerberding added.

The storybook is available at http://www.pandemicflu.gov/storybook/index.html.

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