Ginelli, Paul. “Will History Repeat Itself? The Spanish Influenza”, Boston College, 2003. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/432.
Nearly a century ago, a deadly pandemic swept the globe, taking with it over 25 million lives. This pandemic was caused by the elusive Spanish influenza of 1918. Although many decades have passed since this pandemic, research has yet to uncover the exact origin of the Spanish influenza and the cause of its increased virulence. By examining the current research on the Spanish influenza, some of the secrets of this virus can be uncovered. Most of today's research supports the theory that the hemagglutinin receptor of the Spanish influenza was the most likely source of its potency and that it was an amalgamation of swine and human strains created from a common avian strain that created this virus. Based upon the information that has been uncovered, there is a considerable chance that the Spanish influenza or a similar strain could return in the future. The processes of recombination and reassortment create an endless amount of genetic variants of the virus and any one of them has the potential to be lethal. Although a natural emergence of lethal influenza is a potential threat, the artificial reconstruction of the Spanish influenza or another lethal strain for the purposes of bioterrorism may be an even bigger threat. Thus, it is necessary for researchers to press on with their search for the secrets of the Spanish influenza so that a future outbreak can be avoided. As researchers continue to do their job, the government must also take action and develop the most efficient approach to protecting the public from deadly strains of influenza.