Paris — On a March morning 100 years ago, a soldier in Kansas reported to the infirmary with a fever, muscle aches, and a sore throat. By lunchtime, records state, dozens had joined him, stricken with what would become known as the Spanish Flu. Within months, the virus infected a third of the world’s population and killed as many as 100-million people. It could happen again. While the scale of the 1918-19 flu epidemic remains unparalleled, another pandemic is inevitable, experts say. Given the limitations of available drugs, flu-triggered respiratory diseases can claim up to 650,000 lives, even in a non-pandemic year. About a third of people infected have no symptoms, but some 3-million to 5-million fall severely ill with the flu every year, a heavy economic burden in terms of medical care and lost productivity. Why does this common and familiar virus remain a threat after decades of study and massive medical advances that have eradicated the smallpox virus and severely hamstrung ma...

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