The Virus That Killed 50 Million People Is Being Regrown in Wisconsin (Video)

Slate in motion.
June 13 2014 3:54 PM

The Spanish Flu Lives

A Wisconsin lab has created a virus very similar to the one that killed 50 million people.

Historical photo of the 1918 Spanish influenza ward at Camp Funston, Kansas.
Ward at Camp Funston, Kansas showing the many ill patients who've caught the 1918 Spanish influenza.

Photograph by a U.S. Army photographer.

University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers built the virus from fragments of wild bird flu strains and then, presumably because they were sleeping too soundly at night, mutated it to make the virus airborne.

Jim Festante is an actor/writer in Los Angeles and regular video contributor to Slate. He is the author of the Image Comics miniseries The End Times of Bram and Ben.

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