Fifty million people died worldwide due to the 1918 influenza epidemic. This program examines how and why this epidemic killed so many. There were 675,000 deaths in America due to the 1918 flu, and the ancestors of people who died from the epidemic, as well as some of the oldest living survivors of the epidemic tell their heartfelt stories of how it was to live during this horrific time in American history. No one knew where the flu epidemic started or how to stop it. Funeral homes could not keep up with the number of dead and coffin making was at a new high. Church bells would ring in El Paso, Texas each time a train-load of dead bodies were brought to town for burial. We follow the scientists who performed post-mortems to locate tissue so that the genetic make-up of this virus could be found. Over 13,000 pieces of genetic information would need to be pieced together to discover what this virus was and how to find a vaccine to prevent it from killing so many again. An absolute must see program! Touching, emotional and insightful. As the English poet, John Donne once wrote: 'any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee'. Let us hope that we never hear the church bells from the dead being brought home from being struck down by such a pandemic again!

1 x 55 min
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