The Toll of Influenze, We Heard the Bells Essay

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In 1918-1919, the worst flu in recorded history occurred, killing an estimated 50 million people worldwide. The U.S. death toll was 675,000 - five times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in World War I. Crazy! This flu was unlike any other, and in infected unlike any other. Not to mention, the progression of this illness was extremely quick. One minute you’re fine and the next you’re suffering from a high-grade fever and lying on your death bed. Unlike the influenza virus that many are familiar with today, this form of the virus targeted -- and killed -- the young and healthy. This to me was an interesting fact as it is more common that viruses affect those who are elderly, pregnant, under the age of five, or suffer from chronic…show more content…
A further piece of information that caught my eye during this video was how motivated, determined, and yet rather desperate they were to create a vaccination. After nearly 80 years, they still wanted and needed a vaccination. I believe this is because they understood that this illness can still be a threat and lurk back up into today’s world much more powerful and deadly. The reason I say they were desperate is because the flu is changing nearly every season and viruses like the avian flu (which they believe the flu of 1918 was a form of) is creeping back up on the radar. It’s in my opinion they were desperate not only to have some closure on such a horrible time in history, but also, to find a vaccine, that if needed, can be used again at later point in time to prevent such an outbreak from happening again. I think it also shows the importance in vaccinations, although many people don’t believe they are necessary. Most importantly, the take-away point for me to always be prepared for both the good and the bad. The people living during that time weren’t necessarily expecting for something so deadly to come through knock out half a million people. (Then again, who wakes up expecting to have a deadly virus come through and take their life?!) Americans were especially not prepared for it as they were already dealing with the war and

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