One notable influenza epidemic unfolded late in 1918 and through much of 1919. Across the globe, the influenza virus killed 20-40 million people and affected up to 500 million people. It has been often cited as the “worst epidemic in recorded history.”
Doctors knew something innovative had to be done. Some discovered that transfusing blood from someone who had survived influenza into a sick person improved survival, which gave doctors an idea to develop a preliminary version of a vaccine. If we taught our bodies to fight influenza before it actually contracts influenza, survival would skyrocket.
The vaccine further developed with the advent of vaccine technology. It contains a dead, inactive version of the culprit virus, which compels your body to make antibodies against the real virus. Now, thanks to the vaccine, deaths from influenza have dramatically decreased. It’s amazing that a relatively inexpensive shot can save so many lives by preventing illness.