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Spanish Influenza Research Paper

Decent Essays
In 1918, an introduced form of flu virus, the Spanish Influenza, took hold on Americans all over the country. There were three waves of pandemic which struck in the summer of 1918, fall of 1918, and the spring of 1919. After each wave, the virus mutated in order to adapt to the medicines and vaccines developed at the time in turn causing more and more death along the way. Due to the mutating illness, there were over 675,000 deaths in America; there were 50 million deaths worldwide. There were more deaths in one year of influenza pandemic than all of the deaths from the Bubonic plague of the 12th century.
The waves of influenza involved the H1N1 virus however, the only difference between the waves was the virus’ ability to adapt to the environment.
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The virus attacks the respiratory system, especially the lungs and sinuses. When the virus attacks the system, it causes inflammation to the surrounding tissues leading to heavy congestion and a sticky yellow mucus. This mucus is meant to soothe the friction within the tissues and to expel the virus with drainage through the nose and also through the…show more content…
This drainage to the back of the throat is called post-nasal drip (PND). This drainage into the esophagus can cause irritation and inflammation causing sore throat which, in turn, leads to coughing. The body is trying to expel all this virus-infected mucus from the system. However, despite the body’s efforts, sufferers of the flu will often inhale or swallow the mucus in their nose or throat. This is replacing the virus into the system therefore delaying the body’s recovery.
Finally, the influenza virus lost its’ potency. The vaccine, developed by Jonas Salk in 1903, eventually was revised by him and his partner, Thomas Francis, in 1920. Today, the influenza virus changes constantly. The vaccine may not prevent illness against the newest and most changed virus but it will prevent against the old and most common forms that people encounter daily. In today’s public vaccine released by the CDC, there are four different types of influenza virus antibodies to help protect the recipient from
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