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COVID-19 and the 1918 influenza pandemic — Learning from our ancestors
The 1918 influenza pandemic caused terror around the world, much like COVID-19 is today. In this article from the Vaccine Education Center’s (VEC) newsletter for healthcare providers, called Vaccine Update, read about what happened a century ago and what lessons we can apply today.
Trusted resources about COVID-19
The VEC’s “Special Edition — Coronavirus Resources” webpage provides links to resources from trusted organizations. The types of resources include videos, printable materials, and webpages to help you get accurate information.
In addition, the VEC offers downloadable resources about how to evaluate information:
- Evaluating Information: What You Should Know (PDF) — This Q&A provides tips for evaluating different types of information, including media reports, websites and scientific studies.
- Website Evaluation Cards (PDF) — This pocket-sized card lists criteria for evaluating websites. The criteria were developed by the World Health Organization’s Vaccine Safety Net program.
- Logical Fallacies and Vaccines: What You Should Know (PDF) —This Q&A describes different types of errors in logic, with examples related to vaccines, so that readers can recognize these types of illogical arguments when presented with them.
COVID-19 — Misinformation, rumors and scams
As our nation — and our world — grapples with COVID-19, it is important to remember that some people inevitably will take advantage of the situation by spreading misinformation or engaging in scams. While it is always important to critically evaluate information, it’s even more important during times of crisis. Readers should make sure that information is coming from trusted sources and be cognizant of their own behavior, so as not to inadvertently contribute to the spread of misinformation.
Some helpful resources related to myths and scams during the COVID-19 pandemic are available from these trusted sources:
World Health Organization (WHO)
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters
- Beware of criminals pretending to be WHO
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus.
- To receive alerts from the FTC, sign up on the FTC Consumer Alerts page.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
What happens after a virus gets into the body?
Respiratory viruses, like influenza, measles or COVID-19, are spread when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Virus particles suspended in droplets in the air can be inhaled during close contact or remain viable on surfaces and enter our bodies when we touch the contaminated surface then touch our eyes, nose or mouth. Some people may wonder what happens next.
These animations, developed by the Vaccine Makers Project, answer that question. First, watch “A Virus Attacks a Cell” to see how a virus gets into our cells. Then watch “How do Viruses Reproduce?” to see how once a virus gets into a cell, it takes over, causing the cell to become a virus production factory.
Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.
You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.