The 1918 Flu Pandemic Essay

1942 Words8 Pages
The 1918 Flu Pandemic Abstract One of the most virulent strains of influenza in history ravaged the world and decimated the populations around the world. Present during World War I, the 1918 strain of pandemic influenza found many opportunities to spread through the war. At the time, science wasn’t advanced enough to study the virus, much less find a cure; medical personnel were helpless when it came to fighting the disease, and so the flu went on to infect millions and kill at a rate 25 times higher than the standard. For long before the 1918 pandemic, doctors had been trying to isolate the microorganism that causes influenza. In 1892, one man, Dr. Friedrich Johann Pfeiffer, believed he had the answer. His discovery, Pfeiffer’s…show more content…
The first wave of the 1918 pandemic appeared in San Sebastián, Spain. Within two months, 8 million of Spain’s residents were ill, and the disease had spread on a global scale. Soon it became known as the Spanish flu, because it received the most press there. The other nations had their media tied up with wartime censorship; Spain, a noncombatant, had no such measures in place (Kolata, Flu 9-10). The first wave of the 1918 pandemic appeared in America without much comment. The media was more interested in attention-grabbing news about topics like the war than the rather unremarkable flu. Most people were afflicted with symptoms for a few days before recovering and moving on. The only aspect of the flu that was remarkable was the condition of the lungs from the victims who had died from the flu and pneumonia (Crosby 17-21). 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

More about The 1918 Flu Pandemic Essay

Open Document