This may not be of general interest, but for anyone who follows all the news on potential epidemics and pandemics, stratfor presents some good information on why the 1918 catastrophe is unlikely to be repeated. The most important point:
But the fourth factor, which will pull some of the strength out of any new pandemic, is even more basic than starting health: antibiotics. The 1918 pandemic virus was similar to the more standard influenza virus in that the majority of those who perished died not from the primary attack of the flu but from secondary infections -- typically bacteria or fungal -- that triggered pneumonia. While antibiotics are hardly a silver bullet and they are useless against viruses, they raise the simple possibility of treatment for bacterial or fungal illnesses. Penicillin -- the first commercialized antibiotic -- was not discovered until 1929, 11 years too late to help when panic gripped the world in 1918.