Influenza pandemics since Russian Flu. Do they provide insight to COVID-19?


Dehner, George. (2020, May 3). Influenza pandemics since Russian Flu. Do they provide insight to Covid-19 [Video]. In Perspectives on the Pandemic, Part I. WSUtv.


The surprising appearance and rapid spread of Covid-19 has prompted comparisons with pandemic influenza. This presentation will examine influenza pandemics from 1889 Russian flu through the Novel 2009 H1N1 pandemic with an eye to making comparisons to what is known about Covid-19’s rapid global transmission. How are Covid-19 and influenza similar? How do they differ?

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George Dehner is a world environmental historian who examines the intersection of humans and disease in the modern era. His first book Influenza: A Century of Science and Public Health was published in April 2012 by the University of Pittsburgh Press. His second book Global Flu and You: A History of Influenza was published in December 2012 by Reaktion Press. His article “WHO Knows Best? National and International Responses to Pandemic Threats and the ‘Lessons’ of 1976” published in the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences received the 2011 Margaret T. Lane/Virginia F. Saunders Memorial Research Award by the American Library Association Government Documents Roundtable. His most recent publications include “Environmental History and World History: Developments in Congruence” Asian Review of World Histories Vol. 7 (2019) and “Legionnaires’ Disease: Building a Better World for You,” in Environmental History Vol. 23, No. 3 (1 July 2018). He is currently at work on a manuscript on Legionnaires’ Disease.