Sidedoor: ep. 18 | killer viruses and one man’s mission to stop them

In 1918, a flu pandemic killed more than 50 million people worldwide. Forty years later, it nearly happened again. This week on Sidedoor we go back to a time when the viruses were winning, and we remember one man, Dr. Maurice Hilleman, whose vaccine virtuosity helped turn the tide in the war against infectious diseases.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has a vast health and medicine division with all kinds of eye-boggling collection items. Where else can you find a Civil War surgical set, beauty cream from the 1950s, and Dr. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine? In May 2018, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History will unveil a new exhibition Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World, on view for three years—DC locals can get a preview of sorts at March 7, 2018 program, “The Science of the Flu.”  Can’t get enough of Dr. Hilleman and his quest to rid the world of infectious viruses? Check out this trailer for a new documentary all about his impact on the great wide world!