October 29, 2001
Sometime during the summer of 1918, an influenza virus that had recently swept through the United States and Europe evolved into a far more virulent organism. World War I was still underway when the first case of the new flu was reported in America, at Camp Devens near Boston. Within days new victims had appeared in military bases up and down the Eastern seaboard. By the time the virus hit America's cities, public health officials knew they were dealing with no ordinary strain of influenza.