Swine flu outbreak recalls 1976 Fort Dix case
President Gerald Ford is inoculated on Oct. 14, 1976 as part of the "Roll Up Your Sleeves, America" campaign following an outbreak of swine flu in Fort Dix, N.J. that left a young recruit dead. (Via doctorzebra.com)
1976 swine flu outbreak at a glance
* In 1976, hundreds of soldiers at Fort Dix army base in New Jersey became infected with a form of swine flu. One man died.
* Fearing a repeat of the 1918 bird flu outbreak that killed 675,000 people, President Gerald Ford ordered a nationwide vaccination program. About 40 million Americans were vaccinated.
* The program was stopped after more than 500 Americans developed a severe paralyzing nerve disease as a result of the vaccinations. Thirty people died.
The handling of the 1976 case is now seen as a public health debacle, Shari Roan writes in the Los Angeles Times. And that was close to the view at the time, as well, as evidenced by these vintage Time magazine articles here and here.