The Spanish flu influenza of 1918, the deadliest pandemic in history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide – about a third of the world’s population – and killed an estimated 20 to 50 million victims, including about 675,000 Americans. The Spanish flu of 1918 was first identified in Europe, the United States, and parts of Asia before it spread rapidly around the world.
At that time, there were no effective drugs or drugs to treat this type of flu. Residents have been ordered to cover masks, schools, stadiums and businesses closed and corpses piled up in temporary morgues before the virus could be eradicated by its deadly global march.
What Is the Flu?
The flu, or flu, is a virus that attacks the respiratory system. The flu virus is highly contagious: When an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, respiratory droplets are produced and transmitted to the air, and then they can inhale anyone nearby.
In addition, a person who touches something with the virus and touches his mouth, eyes or nose may become infected.
Did you know? During the 1918 flu outbreak, the New York City health commissioner tried to reduce the spread of the flu by ordering businesses to open and close stagnant shifts to avoid overcrowding.
Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during the year and vary in intensity, depending on the type of virus being transmitted. (Influenza viruses can change quickly.)
In the United States, the “flu season” has usually been held since late autumn. In a typical year, more than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized for flu-related problems, and over the past three decades, there have been U.S. deaths. About 3,000 to 49,000 each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Young children, people over the age of 65, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease, are at greater risk of complications related to the flu, including pneumonia, ear infections and sinuses and bronchitis.
A flu pandemic, such as that of 1918, occurs when a particularly dangerous strain of the flu, with little or no fever, spreads rapidly from person to person throughout the world.
Spanish Flu Symptoms
The first wave of the 1918 epidemic occurred in the spring and was usually small. Patients, who experience flu-like symptoms such as chills, fever and fatigue, usually recover within a few days, and the death toll was lower.
However, the second wave, the most contagious flu, appeared in retaliation in the fall of that year. The victims died within hours or days of symptoms, their skin turned blue, and their lungs were filled with fluid that caused them to shrink. In just one year, 1918, the average life expectancy in the United States dropped by 12 years.
What Caused the Spanish Flu?
The exact cause of the flu epidemic is still unknown; however, the flu of 1918 was first identified in Europe, the Americas, and Asia before it spread to nearly every part of the world within a few months.
Despite the fact that the 1918 flu was not isolated, it was known worldwide as the Spanish flu, as Spain was hit hard by the epidemic and was not immune to the effects of the war on other European countries. (Even Spanish king Alfonso XIII was reported to have contracted the flu.)
Another unusual feature of the 1918 flu was that it struck many previously healthy people, a group – often battling this type of infectious disease – including several World War I soldiers.
In fact, most U.S. soldiers. They died of the flu in 1918 more than those killed in the war during the war. Forty percent of the U.S. Army. They are affected by the flu, while 36 percent of the Society’s ailments are ill, with soldiers traveling around the world in ships and overcrowded trains helping to spread the deadly virus.
Although the death toll from the Spanish flu is estimated at 20 million to 50 million worldwide, other estimates are estimated at 100 million – about 3 percent of the world’s population. The exact numbers are impossible to identify due to the lack of medical record keeping in many places.
What is known, however, is that few places were free of the flu of 1918 – in the United States, the victims ranged from residents of large cities to those of remote Alaskan communities. Even President Woodrow Wilson reportedly contracted the flu in early 1919 when he was discussing the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I.
Why Was The Spanish Flu Called The Spanish Flu?
The Spanish flu did not originate in Spain, although the news media reported it. During World War I, Spain was the first country in the world to report the outbreak, which was first reported in Madrid in late May 1918. fever to keep the air high. Because the Spanish media was the only one reporting the flu, many believe its origin (the Spaniards, on the other hand, believe that the virus originated in France and called it the “French Flu.”)
Where Did The Spanish Flu Come From?
Scientists still do not know exactly where the Spanish flu came from, although speculation points to France, China, Britain, or the United States, where the first known case was reported at Camp Funston in Fort Riley, Kansas, on March 11, 1918.
Some believe that infected soldiers spread the disease to other military bases around the country and then to overseas. In March 1918, 84,000 American troops crossed the Atlantic and were followed by another 118,000 the following month.
Fighting the Spanish Flu
When the flu of 1918 struck, doctors and scientists were not sure what caused it or how it was treated. Unlike today, there were no vaccines or effective drugs, antiretroviral drugs. (The first licensed flu vaccine originated in the United States in the 1940’s. Over the next decade, vaccine manufacturers were constantly able to develop vaccines that could help control and prevent future epidemics.)
To make matters worse, World War I had left parts of the United States in dire need of doctors and other health workers. And of the medical staff present in the U.S., many come down with the flu itself.
In addition, some hospitals were so overcrowded with flu patients that schools, homes, and other facilities had to be converted into temporary hospitals, some of which had medical students.
Authorities in some communities set up divisions, ordered residents to wear masks and closed public places, including schools, churches, and theaters. People were advised to avoid shaking hands and living in houses, libraries stopped book lending and regulations were passed to prevent spitting.
According to The New York Times, during the outbreak, Boy Scouts in New York City approached people who saw them spitting on the street and handed them cards that read: “You are violating the Sanitary Code.”