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Carmen A. Petrick
Undergraduate Student
Life Sciences
Quest University Canada
Why Was the 1918 Influenza So Deadly?: An Intimate Debate Case

In this intimate debate, students examine the causes of the devastation wrought by the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic. Students consider whether the 1918 flu was exceptionally deadly because of its biology, or whether prevalent geopolitical-socioeconomic conditions led to the negative health outcomes. Students assess the contribution of each factor, consider how they might have interacted, and apply their knowledge to evaluate the risks of current flu outbreaks. The case was developed for a sophomore undergraduate course on infectious disease; it may be of use in a general biology course if sufficient background in viral biology is provided by the instructor.