Influenza: The Hundred-Year Hunt to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History

Jeremy Brown

February 19, at 10:00 AM
Board Room

Discussion led by Leah Gentry.

Refreshments provided by Menomonee Falls Library Friends.

Books are available at the 2nd Floor Information Desk.


On the 100th anniversary of the devastating pandemic of 1918, Jeremy Brown, a veteran ER doctor, explores the troubling, terrifying, and complex history of the flu virus, from the origins of the Great Flu that killed millions, to vexing questions such as: are we prepared for the next epidemic, should you get a flu shot, and how close are we to finding a cure?

While influenza is now often thought of as a common and mild disease, it still kills over 30,000 people in the US each year. Dr. Jeremy Brown, currently Director of Emergency Care Research at the National Institutes of Health, expounds on the flu’s deadly past to solve the mysteries that could protect us from the next outbreak. In Influenza, he talks with leading epidemiologists, policy makers, and the researcher who first sequenced the genetic building blocks of the original 1918 virus to offer both a comprehensive history and a roadmap for understanding what’s to come.

Dr. Brown digs into the discovery and resurrection of the flu virus in the frozen victims of the 1918 epidemic, as well as the bizarre remedies that once treated the disease, such as whiskey and blood-letting. Influenza also breaks down the current dialogue surrounding the disease, explaining the controversy over vaccinations, antiviral drugs like Tamiflu, and the federal government’s role in preparing for pandemic outbreaks. Though 100 years of advancement in medical research and technology have passed since the 1918 disaster, Dr. Brown warns that many of the most vital questions about the flu virus continue to confound even the leading experts.

Influenza is an enlightening and unnerving look at a shapeshifting deadly virus that has been around long before people—and warns us that it may be many more years before we are able to conquer it for good. – (Simon and Schuster)

Upcoming Book Discussions

Adult Fiction Book Club

Just the Facts: Non-fiction Book Club

NEA Big Read in the Falls Book Discussions

Free copies of the Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel are available at the Library, while supplies last.

  • Monday, February 10, 3:15 – 4:15 PM
    Menomonee Falls High School Media Center, N80 W14350 Titan Dr.
    Hosted by the Film and Novel Society.
  • Thursday, February 13, 7:00 – 8:00 PM
    Menomonee Falls Public Library
    Refreshments provided by Menomonee Falls Library Friends.
  • Tuesday, February 18, 7:00 – 8:00 PM
    Main Mill, N88 W16521 Main St
    Food and beverages available for purchase. No purchase necessary.
  • Wednesday, February 19, 10:00 – 11:00 AM
    Just the Facts Book Club
    Menomonee Falls Public Library
    This nonfiction book club will discuss Influenza by Dr. Jeremy Brown.
  • Wednesday, February 26, 10:00 – 11:00 AM
    Purloin Studios, N88 W16567 Main St.
    Food and beverages available for purchase. No purchase necessary.
  • Thursday, February 27, 3:30 – 4:30 PM
    Books & Brownies
    Menomonee Falls Public Library
    Dystopian day! Have brownies and discuss Station Eleven and other dystopian books. For teens ages 12-18.
  • Monday, March 2, 7:00 – 8:00 PM
    Waterlin Coffee Bar & Bistro (at Delta Hotel), N88 W14750 Main St.
    Food and beverages available for purchase. Extended Happy Hour snacks and drinks until 10:00 PM! No purchase necessary.
  • Thursday, March 5, 10:00 – 11:00 AM
    Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, N89 W16849 Appleton Ave.
    Refreshments provided by Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.
  • Thursday, March 5, 1:00 – 2:00 PM
    Menomonee Falls Community Center, Rm. 106, W152 N8645 Margaret Rd.
  • Friday, March 13, 3:00 – 4:00 PM
    Fiddleheads, N88 W16621 Appleton Ave.
    Food and beverages available for purchase. No purchase necessary.

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