Soddy-Daisy woman survived Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 [photos]

Dora Sowell, 99, describes what she knows about being sick with the Spanish flu when she was just a few months old from her Soddy Daisy, Tenn., home on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. While Sowell survived despite some developmental delays, her mom told her that one of her cousins died from the flu.

Through the back window of her Soddy-Daisy home, Dora Sowell watches the Tennessee River. On warm summer days, it teems with water sports enthusiasts. But on this cool, gray morning in early February, she watches the water and thinks about something far more grim.

She's waiting for influenza season to subside, knowing her fate may be different than it was nearly 100 years ago, when she survived the Spanish flu.

"I've always worried about any time the flu comes around, because I don't want to have it again," the 99-year-old said. "At my age, it probably would be a killer."

In 1918, the dangers of the influenza virus - at the time often called "grippe" - were nothing new.