In two years between 1918 and 1919, A pandemic of influenza swept mercilessly over the planet, killing millions which stood in its path. Miraculously, the exact origin of the pandemic is unclear. What is exceedingly clear, however, is that often the actions of man aided in the spread of the virus, whether due to inadvertent endangerment, close quarters, religious principles, or failure to recognize the true threat that influenza posed.
The book “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, written by John M. Barry, covers the progression of the Spanish influenza, especially in the United States. Barry focuses not only on the influenza itself, though, but also on the social influences that allowed the virus to flourish. The book covers how medical practices in the United States had risen up just in time to combat the virus, but, due to societal issues and the war, the doctors struggled in areas where they should have been successful.
The graphs of the deaths due to the spring flu revealed that it had the Spanish flu’s distinct “W” shaped curve. While normal human flu tends to kill off people who are either very young or very old, the Spanish flu killed all those and more. It was unusual in that it also had many deaths in the age range of 20-40, whose members were generally more robust than flu’s usual victims (Kolata, Flu 5). Yue-Ming Loo and Michael Gale, Jr. discuss a study by Darwyn Kobasa and many other scientists
This influenza occurred at the latter point of “World War 1” coming at a vulnerable time for the world. Many people have already died due to the war, and many resources and money has already been consumed. So when the pandemic hit, it hit with a charge that left a great wound in the economy and health of the people not just in the U.S. but the world. People responded by taking more precautions in health and safety, and took radical response in the exterminating of animal populations.
Infectious epidemics and pandemics have happened all through mankind's history. “They remain the prime cause of death worldwide and will not be conquered during our lifetimes.” The flu of 1918 was one of the deadliest epidemics in history. “It infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide–about one-third of the planet’s population at the time–and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims. More than 25 percent of the U.S. population became sick, and some 675,000 Americans died during the pandemic.” No one knew how the virus spread, there were no antibiotics to fight it, and no flu shots to prevent it. In the final year of World War I, it struck terror in the hearts of people all across Europe and left more death in its wake than the combined military actions of the combatants. “It killed more Americans in a few months than World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the
This new influenza baffled researchers and doctors everywhere. Up to this point, all viral diseases has spread prominently throughout heavily populated areas and into the lungs of the very young, very old, or sickly. On the contrary, the Influenza of 1918 swept through the Midwest and preyed on the
Influenza is well-defined as a minor, but commonly epidemic disease that occurred in several of ways, also caused by numerous of rapidly mutating viral strains. It characterized by the respiratory symptoms and general prostration. The Spanish flu was not a normal epidemic, it was a dangerous pandemic. Epidemics affect individuals at the same time in areas where the disease does not normally spread. A pandemic is an epidemic on a national, international, or global scale. The Spanish flu was different from a usual flu in one big great terrifying way, which had a remarkably high death rate between healthy individuals around the age fifteen to thirty four. There has been such a high death rate in this type if age group in an epidemic prior to or since the Spanish flu of 1918.
In 1918, at the end of World War I, the Spanish flu struck the US. Research says that the estimated amount of deaths are somewhere between 20-40 million people worldwide. The Spanish flu was one of the most devastating pandemics in modern history. The Spanish flu was something the medical world had never seen and affected the people living in California greatly.
Influenza, an innocent little virus that annually comes and goes, has always been a part of people’s lives. Knowing this, one would not believe that it has caused not one, not two, but three pandemics and is on its way to causing a fourth! The Spanish flu of 1918, the Asian flu of 1957, and the Hong Kong
Influenza, normally called “the flu”, the influenza virus causes an infection in the respiration tract. Even though the influenza virus can sometimes be compared with the common cold. It also can cause a more severe illness or death. During this past century, pandemics took place in 1918, 1957, and 1968, in all of these cases there where unfortunately many deaths. The “Spanish flu” in 1918, killed approximately half a million people in the United States alone. It killed around 20 million worldwide. The “Asian flu” in 1957, in the United States their 70,000 people died. In 1968 the “Hong-Kong flu” There where 34,000 deaths in the United
Avian influenza is a disease that has been wreaking havoc on human populations since the 16th century. With the recent outbreak in 1997 of a new H5N1 avian flu subtype, the world has begun preparing for a pandemic by looking upon its past affects. In the 20th Century, the world witnessed three pandemics in the years of 1918, 1957, and 1968. In 1918 no vaccine, antibiotic, or clear recognition of the disease was known. Killing over 40 million in less than a year, the H1N1 strain ingrained a deep and lasting fear of the virus throughout the world. Though 1957 and 1968 brought on milder pandemics, they still killed an estimated 3 million people and presented a new
Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill juvenile, elderly, or already weakened patients; in contrast the 1918 pandemic predominantly killed previously healthy young adults. Modern research, using virus taken from the bodies of frozen victims, has concluded that the virus kills through a cytokine
Many historians call the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 the deadliest disease outbreak of all time. As many as 100 million people were killed as a direct result of this disease (Taubenberger 1). The Great Pandemic affected everyone, the prosperous and the poor, developed and underdeveloped nations. Entire villages in Alaska were wiped out because of the viral disease (Public Health Service). The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 was caused by World War One, a high volume of immigration, and poor sanitary conditions.
At no time was a search for the cure for influenza more frantic than after the devastating effects of the pandemic of 1918. The pandemic killed somewhere between twenty and a hundred million people, making it twenty five times more deadly than the ordinary cough and sneeze flu. The symptoms of this flu