For additional information about the flu, go to www.cdc.gov/flu/(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
You can learn more about bird flu (avian influenza) at kidshealth.org/kid/health_problems/infection/bird_flu.html (KidsHealth for Kids) and www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/avian_influenza/en/ (World Health Organization).
To learn about the 1918 flu epidemic, see www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/influenza/(PBS).
Sohn, Emily. 2003. Fighting off micro-invader epidemics. Science News for Kids (Nov. 5).
Books recommended by SearchIt!Science:
Viruses— Howard and Margery Facklam
Published by Twenty-First Century Books/Millbrook Press, 1994.
You may not know it, but you have viruses inside your body right now. You’re not usually aware of these invisible invaders until they cause problems. How do viruses cause disease? How can your body fight against them? How do vaccines prevent some diseases such as smallpox? And what is the connection between AIDS and viruses? With color photographs and drawings, this book explains how viruses work and how they change. Discussions of colds, flu, smallpox, rabies, and polio are included. The importance of viruses in food and plants is also discussed.
The 1918 Influenza Pandemic— Stephanie True Peters
Published by Benchmark Books/Marshall Cavendish, 2005.
This book begins by pointing to three remarkable things about the influenza pandemic of 1918: that it killed between 20 million and 40 million people around the world in a year, that it is hardly mentioned anywhere, and that this disease will likely reappear someday. You’ll learn about the waves and history of the outbreaks, the ways in which health workers tried to control it, and the methods in which later researchers have studied the epidemic. A final chapter is devoted to the possibilities of a viral epidemic today.
The Influenza Pandemic of 1918— Virginia Aronson
Published by Chelsea House, 2000.
The flu is never fun, but you probably don’t think of it as a deadly disease. In 1918, though, it killed over 40 million people. Usually the flu is not so dangerous, but since it mutates, or changes, very quickly, scientists and doctors can never be sure that next year’s flu might not turn out to be a killer. This book tells the history of pandemics (worldwide disease outbreaks) as well as the scientific detective work that goes into preventing them.
epidemic An outbreak of a contagious disease that spreads quickly and affects many people.
immune system The parts of the body that act together to protect the body against infection or disease. White blood cells and antibodies, which attack and weaken germs, are parts of the immune system that circulate in the blood. The skin, which acts as a barrier to germs, is also part of the immune system.
influenza A contagious disease in which there is fever, coughing and sneezing, and muscle pain. Influenza is caused by a virus and often occurs in epidemics. Influenza is called the flufor short.
virus A microscopic structure that can grow and reproduce only by invading a living cell. Once a virus enters a cell, it can multiply and cause infection in a person or living thing. Viruses are not cells themselves but instead are made up of a tiny bit of DNA or RNA that is covered by a coating of protein. Polio and measles are caused by viruses.
Copyright © 2002, 2003 Houghton-Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Used with permission.