Remembering a Deadly Influenza

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Saturday, March 11th. One of the most devastating public health crises in history hit the U.S. on this date 99 years ago. The first cases of what was called “Spanish flu” were reported among soldiers at Fort Riley, Kansas. Then it went viral in the worst sense of the word.  By 1920, nearly one-in-four Americans had suffered from this strain of the flu, killing about 600,000. Worldwide, estimates put the death toll up at 50 million or more. Even less dramatic strains of flu, like the recent Zika virus, can be deadly. Confronting such health issues are some 6,800 medical laboratories in the U.S. today, along with 114,000 medical scientists and over 250,000 clinical laboratory technologists and technicians.  You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at

Outbreak/accessed 1/6/2017:
Toll/ accessed 1/6/2017:
Laboratories/County Business Patterns/NAICS 621511:
Medical scientists and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians/American Community Survey:

Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotion of the U.S. Census Bureau. Statistics and accounts drawn from cited non-Census sources are employed for illustrative or narrative purposes, and are not attested to by the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet at (look for “Audio” in the “Library” pull-down menu).

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