Read original article: https://www.history.com/news/swine-flu-rush-vaccine-election-year-1976
After Private David Lewis collapsed and died during a basic training exercise at New Jersey’s Fort Dix on February 4, 1976, an investigation into the 19-year-old’s premature death identified a long-dormant, but notorious killer as the cause.
Blood tests conducted at the Center for Disease Control revealed that Lewis had contracted a type of swine flu thought at the time to be genetically close to the 1918 influenza mislabeled the “Spanish flu,” which claimed the lives of more than 650,000 Americans and as many as 50 million around the globe. Eleven other soldiers at Fort Dix tested positive for swine flu, but recovered—while hundreds more at the base tested positive for swine flu antibodies. The New York Times reported on its front page that the “virus that caused the greatest world epidemic of influenza in modern history—the pandemic of 1918-19—may have returned.”