Upcoming Exhibits

Museum Closed for Exhibit Installation

May 4-22, 2020

Influenza: Complex Virus/Complex History

Opening May 26, 2020-February 5, 2021

image of virus

This high magnification negatively-stained transmission electron microscope image depicts a grouping of Influenza A virions. Note the neuraminidase and hemagglutinin “spikes” protruding from the virions’ proteinaceous capsid coats.

Organized by the David J. Sencer CDC Museum at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Influenza: Complex Virus/Complex History surveys the historical significance of influenza spanning the 20th and 21st centuries. Using visuals, artifacts, and media, Influenza: Complex Virus/Complex History will provide a historical examination of the global sociocultural impact of the influenza virus, as well as the work of CDC and its worldwide partners to prevent and control the disease. The exhibition opens with an overlook of the critical scientific concepts that will help museum visitors better comprehend the scientific complexities that contribute to the virus as a near constant public health problem.

After establishing relevant scientific concepts, the exhibition will offer a comprehensive cultural historical overview of the influenza pandemics that occurred throughout the 20th and 21st century, beginning with the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. Global influenza surveillance systems, vaccine development, influenza research, pandemic preparedness, and public health campaigns are featured alongside historical content, framed by the ongoing work of CDC since its founding in 1946. Finally, the exhibition will examine how influenza has impacted cultural memories, particularly in the United States. Visitors will leave the CDC Museum with an enriched understanding of how influenza shapes and is shaped by scientific advances and the larger global culture.

Page last reviewed: October 30, 2019