"A swine flu epidemic could be coming..." says an ominous voice as deep drums rumble in the background. "It could make you very sick. You'll want to be protected."
One man on a basketball court shrugs it off. "The swine flu? Man, I'm too fast to let it catch me!" Moments later, he's shown sprawled in his bed with a thermometer in his mouth.
The scenes (as you can quickly tell from the video below) are from the 1970s, when the last swine flu scare led to a national vaccination campaign. Here's a brief synopsis from the Centers for Disease Control:
In 1976, 2 recruits at Fort Dix, New Jersey, had an influenzalike illness. Isolates of virus taken from them included A/New Jersey/76 (Hsw1n1), a strain similar to the virus believed at the time to be the cause of the 1918 pandemic, commonly known as swine flu. Serologic studies at Fort Dix suggested that >200 soldiers had been infected and that person-to-person transmission had occurred. We review the process by which these events led to the public health decision to mass-vaccinate the American public against the virus and the subsequent events that led to the program's cancellation.
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