American Experience interviewed Dr. Shirley Fannin in 1997. Fannin is a pediatrician specializing in epidemiology and infectious disease in Los Angeles.
In the spring of 1918, as the nation mobilized for war, Private Albert Gitchell reported to an army hospital in Kansas. He was diagnosed with the flu, a disease doctors knew little about.
Shortly before breakfast on Monday, March 11, the first domino would fall signaling the commencement of the first wave of the 1918 influenza.
In March 1997, a team of pathologists published a report concerning the discovery of genetic material from the influenza of 1918.