Trouble at Fort Dix

Fort Dix, New Jersey, 1976

Fort Dix Welcome Center, New Jersey

A Concerning Outbreak

In 1976, about 200 army recruits were suddenly stricken with influenza at the Fort Dix Army Training Center in New Jersey. One recruit died. Respiratory samples sent to CDC for laboratory testing were positive for infection with swine-origin influenza A(H1N1): the first detection of H1N1 influenza viruses in people since the 1957 pandemic.

Since virus samples from New Jersey were similar to influenza viruses isolated in the 1930s, public health officials worried that people younger than 50 would have no immunity against these viruses.