The Spanish Flu

1521 Words Aug 7th, 2007 7 Pages
The Spanish Flu was a world wide epidemic that took the lives of an estimated 50 to 100 million lives between 1918 and 1920. It has been recorded as the most devastating outbreak in world history. The disease first appeared in Fort Riley Kansas on March 11, 1918 when an Army private reported to the camp hospital with complaints of a fever, sore throat and headache. By noon that day the hospital had treated over 100 sick soldiers with similar symptoms and 500 more by the end of that week. Initially the strain of the virus seemed no different than those of previous years but it quickly became apparent to health officials that this strain was unusual when it began to attack many young adults and healthy individuals. Additionally this …show more content…
"What Caused the Outbreak?"
While the exact cause of the Spanish Flu is still undetermined, many theories exist as to what caused the initial pandemic. One belief is that the virus was man made and used as a type of bacteriological warfare that was developed in 1914. It was believed to be administered to soldiers as a vaccine during WWI with the intent of being spread overseas infecting the enemy we were fighting against. Another theory is that the virus was spread to humans through birds. Researchers were able to study preserved tissue samples from 1918 and have identified mutated genes which are very similar to those documented in the H5N1 virus or more commonly referred to as the Bird Flu.
"What is the Bird Flu?" Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) is commonly found in the intestines of birds. It is uncommon for the influenza to infect humans but there have been confirmed cases of human infection since 1997. Normally people acquire the infection via domesticated birds such as chickens, turkeys and ducks. The virus is secreted by the birds through their feces, salvia and nasal secretions. Symptoms of the flu are very similar to those of other types of influenza and include: fever, fatigue, sore throat, coughs, conjunctivitis, pneumonia, chest pain and muscle aches. As of January 2007, the World Health Organization

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