1918 Flu Victims Excavation Results

I remember reading a few years ago that scientists had found the bodies of some US Army soldiers who had died of influenza in 1918 and were buried in Alaska such that the virus should still be preserved in their bodies. They planned to dig up the bodies and examine them to see exactly what the virus looked like, since there’s some doubt as to exactly what the virus was and why it was so lethal. Anybody know if they’ve done this and what the results have been?

There was a PBS special a while back about the 1918 flu. Here’s their page of latest findings: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/influenza/sfeature/latest.html

The special that I saw about the Influenza took place in Greenland. There was a small fishing and mining village that was all but wiped out from it. The scientists were able to get permission to excavate these graves, which they did. There was a specific graveyard of miners that the scientists picked because they knew that the graves were under the permafrost, which was the best chance that the virus was still active.

They took extreme precautions, but were able to extract active and live cultures of Influenza from these corpses that had been under ground for 80 years. The samples were immediately flown to a university and put in the deep freeze in order to safely analyze, and understand it.

Some where in my pile of books is a volume titled “The Forth Horseman” It talks about this and is pure fiction. At least I pray it is.

I have that book. It’s the plague, not the flu.