The Worldwide Influenza Epidemic in the US

696 WordsFeb 20, 20183 Pages
The Worldwide Influenza Epidemic in the U.S. "The 1918 has gone: a year momentous as the termination of the most cruel war in the annals of the human race; a year which marked, the end at least for a time, of man's destruction of man; unfortunately a year in which developed a most fatal infectious disease causing the death of hundreds of thousands of human beings. Medical science for four and one-half years devoted itself to putting men on the firing line and keeping them there. Now it must turn with its whole might to combating the greatest enemy of all--infectious disease (Billings, 2005)." The influenza in 1919 was much bigger than a cold. In the two years that this disease swept the world one fifth of the population was infected. The flu was most deadly for people ages 20 to 40. This pattern of death was unusual for influenza which usually killed the elderly and young children. It infected 28% of all Americans. An estimated 675,000 Americans died of influenza during this pandemic, about ten times as many as in World War 1. Of the U.S. soldiers who died in Europe, half of them were killed by the influenza virus and not to the enemy. An estimated 43,000 soldiers who were sent for WWI died of influenza. The worldwide influenza epidemic adversely affected the U.S., both in the states and the soldiers at war. Subsequently, in the lack of medicine, lack of skilled doctors, and the lack of soldier preparation. The influenza pandemic circled the globe. Most of humanity felt
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