Spanish Influenza 1918

In: Historical Events

Submitted By hawk4life24
Words 2452
Pages 10
The Spanish Flu was the most devastating pandemic our world has ever seen. Even though few medical records exist, historians believe that 20 – 100 million people were killed by this flu. Despite the number of deaths and the severity and geographic reach of this disease, it merits little attention in the history books. Today one of our greatest medical threats is AIDS. The Spanish Flu is exponential compared to AIDS casualties (Gloria). The Spanish Flu of 1918-19 affected our world like no other disease in history. It changed the ways people sought medical help, the ways physicians treated illness, the role of medical researchers and how society, particularly medical and political leaders respond to pandemic diseases.

Influenza is a unique respiratory viral disease infecting the whole respiratory tract-namely, the nose, sinuses, the throat, lungs, and even the middle ear. The disease spreads from person to person by airborne droplets produced when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. Acute symptoms of influenza, including fever, headache, shivering, muscle pain, cough, and pneumonia, are the result of the virus replicating in the respiratory tract, in which infected cells die and slough off (Rosenberg).
The Spanish Flu got its name from newspaper reports of that period. It was thought that the influenza infection was carried form Asia to Spain during World War I. During WWI Spain remained neutral and the government did not censor the press. Spanish papers were filled with reports of the disease, especially when King Alphonse XIII became seriously ill with the flu.
In facts the origins of the flu are not certain. Although it came in three waves during 1918-19, it is also unclear why it halted in 1919. The first wave was in the spring of 1918. It was known for comparable mild intensity of symptoms and somewhat low death toll. Also, Americans were distracted…...

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