A Medical Revolution Essay

1547 Words7 Pages
In the spring of 1918, the first wave of one of the deadliest influenza pandemics began plaguing its victims (Peters, ix). Over the span of three lethal waves, the pandemic claimed approximately forty million victims, eradicating nearly twenty percent of the entire world’s population, or about one out of five individuals (Peters, ix). To make matters more dire, the ill-suited medical community was exceptionally unprepared for such a wide-scale pandemic: Doctors had very basic tools, knew little about diseases, and had no experience with vaccinations or prevention (Peters, 1-5; “The 1920s: Medicine and Health: Overview”, n.p.). People blindly faced the epidemic, relying on folk remedies such as consuming wine, drinking antiseptic, and…show more content…
Although doctors were supposed to be considered medical experts, they were not taken seriously due to the fact that a patient had less than a fifty percent chance of benefiting from a doctor’s visit (“The 1920s: Medicine and Health: Overview”, n.p.). Doctors struggled to diagnose and fix medical problems due to inexperience and lack of tools (“The 1920s: Medicine and Health: Overview”, n.p.). As a result of the substandard medical community, maternal deaths and child deaths were commonplace, while simple sicknesses often turned into fatal infections (“The 1920s: Medicine and Health: Overview”, n.p.). When the first wave of the influenza pandemic struck in the spring of 1918, the medical community was taken aback by the pandemic’s unpredicted wrath (Peters, 13). The typically mellow influenza virus, characterized by familiar symptoms of fever, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, congestion, and body aches, claimed victims within hours (Peters, ix, 1-5). This was a sickness like no other, and it left the medical community baffled. Doctors nor medical experts knew what the sickness was, why it was spreading, what was causing it, or how to fix it (Peters, 1-5). All branches of the medical field practically shut down: researchers found no potential
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