"The dark morning, the lights in the windows, the snowflakes that fall. All testify that it will soon be here again: flu season. It is the same every year, but this year it feels especially ominous. It is a hundred years since the worst flu that ravaged humanity: the Spanish flu pandemic, 1918-1920."
"It was then that a new variation of the influenza virus killed more people than the first world war, whose crowded trenches facilitated spread. The affected – oddly enough, usually the young people found it difficult to breathe, began to bleed from the nose and mouth and the face paint changed to blue. 50 to 100 million people died. Perhaps as many victims as for the 1300-century digerdöd. Look at your family tree you will find the branches that were cut right then."
"Sooner or later mutates the flu again. We do not have an equal number of trenches in the day, but on the other hand, we have now a globalization that looks to be designed for the spread of infection: Virusbärarna flying all over the world and crowd into buses and subways. The world's health authorities yesterday just waiting on that to happen again. "
"But now claims some scientists that perhaps it's not going to happen, and it is precisely the modern human mobility that saves us."
"to understand why, one can think of the recent high-profile urfolket on the north Sentinel in the Andaman islands, and why it had been such a disaster if it killed the missionary John Chaus had beblandat with them. Because they have been isolated for thousands of years, they have not encountered our diseases, and developed a sense of resilience. A single sneeze would be able to exterminate the entire community. "
"It has happened before. Around 90 per cent of the american indians is estimated to have been killed by viruses the europeans brought with them. "
"most of The diseases we get are new variants of the old, and the victims of the old has also developed a specific immune system against the new. One of the reasons for the elderly, for once, were better off in 1918 was that many had a protection after an outbreak of the 1889-90. In Sweden, beating the Spanish flu particularly hard against the northern region, with its many isolated villages without immunity. "
"A team of scientists has analyzed how our travel affects influensarisken. They show that, in our globalised world, constantly expose each other to viruses, but it also means that we all develop a ever better immune system, so it reduces the risk of an outbreak of apocalyptic proportions. One of the researchers, Robin Thompson at oxford university, says that human mobility is ' as a natural vaccine”. "
"We should not shout hello. Sometimes surprises the animal kingdom provides us with a completely new virus, such as HIV or Ebola, as we have no defense against. But if you are one of those who are waiting for the big flu pandemic that will kill us all, you can comfort yourself with that you may already have experienced it, in the form of, inter alia, that the 2009 swine flu and bird flu in 2014. It's just that we people are now travelling as much as viruses, and it meant that there was a new 1918."
"Hunt for scapegoats"