Despite the fact that the recent pandemic was the best studied and recorded to date, the knowledge gained will probably have little predictive value for the next pandemic, either in qualitative or quantitative terms.

Communicable Diseases and Epidemics
Martin M. Kaplan
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, June 1960

KaplanĀ  was referring to the 1957-58 influenza pandemic, but the sentence could have been taken from many places in 2009. In any case, Kaplan was pretty much correct; the next three pandemics after that were quite different from the 1957-58 pattern, and quite different from each other.