On this Day:
March 12, 1918 US Army mess cook Private Albert Gitchell of Fort Riley, Kansas becomes the first documented case of Spanish flu; start of worldwide pandemic killing 50-100 million.
The 1918 influenza pandemic, also known by the misnomer Spanish flu or as the Great Influenza epidemic, was an exceptionally deadly global influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus. The earliest documented case was March 1918 in Kansas, United States, with further cases recorded in France, Germany and the United Kingdom in April. Two years later, nearly a third of the global population, or an estimated 500 million people, had been infected in four successive waves. Estimates of deaths range from 50 million to 100 million, making it the second deadliest pandemic in human history.
The pandemic broke out near the end of World War I. Wartime censors suppressed bad news in the countries at war to maintain morale. However, newspapers freely reported the outbreak in neutral Spain, creating a false impression of Spain as the epicentre and leading to the “Spanish flu” misnomer. It spread quickly as military personnel travelled from one country to another.
Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill the young and old, with a higher survival rate in-between, but this pandemic had unusually high mortality for young adults aged 20 to 40. Scientists offer several explanations for the overall high mortality, including a six-year climate anomaly affecting migration of disease vectors with increased likelihood of spread through bodies of water. The virus was particularly deadly because it triggered a cytokine storm, (a cascade of exaggerated immune responses), ravaging the immune system, even though the viral infection was apparently no more aggressive than previous influenza strains. Malnourishment, overcrowded medical camps and hospitals, and poor hygiene, exacerbated by the war, promoted bacterial superinfection, killing most of the victims.
The 1918 Spanish flu was the first of three flu pandemics caused by H1N1 influenza A virus; the most recent one was the 2009 swine flu pandemic. The 1977 Russian flu was also caused by H1N1 virus. as per Wikipedia
First, a Story
Smallpox, the Spanish Flu, and the Black Death have already done the whole global pandemic thing…
What covid is doing is just plagiarism.
Second a Song:
The Los Angeles Times has prepared a video: What the 1918 flu pandemic can teach us about reopening.
The 1918 flu was one of the worst pandemics in history, infecting one-third of the world’s population. How cities responded to that crisis provides lessons on handling COVID-19 today (per YouTube.com).
Here is the Los Angeles Times video on the 1918 flu pandemic. I hope you enjoy this!
Thought for the Day:
The North Carolina Observer (newspaper) printed this in 1918:
“Only by loyal and intelligent co-operation of the general public can the epidemic of Spanish influenza be prevented from spreading throughout the country and hampering our war work. Do your bit.”
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Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky