The 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic Essay

1946 words - 8 pages

Influenza is defined as an acute, commonly epidemic disease, occurring in several forms, caused by numerous rapidly mutating viral strains and characterized by respiratory symptoms and general prostration. Spanish flu was more than just a normal epidemic, it was a pandemic. Epidemics affect many people at the same time in areas where the disease doesn’t normally occur. A pandemic is an epidemic on a national, international, or global scale. The Spanish flu was different from the seasonal flu in one especially frightening way, there was an unusually high death rate among healthy adults aged 15 to 34 and lowered the life expectancy by more than ten years. Such a high death rate has not occurred in this age group in and epidemic prior to or since the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. (Tumpey, 2005)
The disease gets its name not from the country where it first appeared but from the country where it was first widely reported. The Spanish were not involved in World War One. They were not censoring their newsprint as heavily as those in countries involved in the war. When Spain was hit hard by the disease it became associated with the “Spanish flu”. The Spanish king himself contracted the flu. (History 2013) There are conflicting reports about where the disease originated. One commonly held belief is that it originated in a military camp in Kansas where soldiers were trained before being sent around the world to fight. The second wave commenced in three port cities in three countries; this second wave was a deadly evolution of the first wave and began the deadly phase of the pandemic. (The Great Pandemic)
The Spanish Influenza has not been seen since the last pandemic ended in 1919. In 1918 the federal government required states and local health departments to report diseases in communities; however influenza wasn’t a disease that needed to be reported. Officials in Kansas informed the federal government of “18 cases of influenza of a severe type” occurring. By the beginning of summer, reports of a large number of healthy soldiers falling ill and contracting deadly pneumonia after recovering from their fever. Within months the influenza had spread to civilians in Europe, and then to the world. (The Great Pandemic)
Many labs currently hold the disease. When researchers first recreated the disease, they were required to report to the U.S. biosecurity advisory board to state that the work was important and important enough to risk the disease being accidentally released. Recreating the disease is possible by any “well-equipped molecular biology lab” and has been done by Canadian researchers who “find it less complicated to make it [The Spanish Flu virus] themselves by following the published procedure than to get permission to import it from the United States.” If the Spanish Flu were accidentally released into the environment or, even more concerning, it was intentionally released, the consequences could be deadly. World travel is done...

Find Another Essay On The 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic

The Influenza of 1918 Essay

1595 words - 7 pages place from September to November 1918 resulting in fifty million deaths. The third and final wave occurred in the early 1919 and fatality rates were still high. Resembling the symptoms of the common cold, the influenza was not easily detected as a flu virus. It was, instead, misdiagnosed as the common cold. The uniqueness which was presented by the Spanish Flu was the increased rates of mortality that occurred in a short period of time. Symptoms

The 1918-1919 Influenza Epidemic Essay

3520 words - 14 pages Pandemic in History (New York: Penguin, 2004), 171 Nancy K. Bristow, American Pandemic, The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 156 Anne A. Colon, “Experiences during the Epidemic,” The American Journal of Nursing (1919): 607 “Spanish Influenza”, Journal of the American Medical Association 71(8):660 Katherine Anne Porter, Pale Horse, Pale Rider (United States: The Modern Library, 1936), 255

WW1 â€" The Spanish Influenza

761 words - 3 pages Before the emergency of the Great War, known today as World War 1 (WWI) had ended, a new crisis which would fully engage pharmacists had already begun to show itself ? the influenza pandemic. Also known as the ?Spanish Flu? (it was called the Spanish Flu because Spain experienced the first major outbreak) or ?La Grippe?, the influenza has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a

The Potential for Avian Influenza to Cause Another Worldwide Pandemic

1690 words - 7 pages The Potential for Avian Influenza to Cause Another Worldwide Pandemic Abstract There are three major factors involved in the start of a pandemic; the viral strain must be new, able to cause serious illness, and transmit efficiently between humans. This article explores the avian influenza virus?s potential to cause another global pandemic through its ease of transmission and ability to evade treatment. Avian type A influenza virus generally

The Origins of the Spanish Flu of 1918

2574 words - 10 pages . Stanford University Virology. June 1, 1997. retrieved from http://virus.stanford.edu/uda/ “The Site of Origin of The 1918 Influenza Pandemic and Its Public Health Implications.” Barry, John. US national Library of Health Medicine, January 20, 2004. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC340389/ “The Spanish Flu Epidemic Begins: March 11, 1918." Global Events: Milestone Events Throughout History. Ed. Jennifer Stock. Vol. 6

Evolving Influenza

1136 words - 5 pages 1918-1920, known as the Spanish Flu, which killed anywhere from 20 million to 100 million. H1N1 was the culprit here. Asian flu H2N2 in 1957-1958 led to the deaths of 1 to 1.5 million. Hong Kong Flu H3N2 1968-69 resulting in up to 1 million deaths. The Russian Flu H1N1 of 1977-1978 had no accurate death toll. The Swine flu pandemic of 2009-2010 caused anywhere from 18,000 to 284,500 people to die, and here it was H1N1/09. (Influenza Pandemic

INFLUENZA

1152 words - 5 pages people or even entire populations have no antibody against the virus. Although this is potentially lethal, the virus can only start a pandemic if it is able to be spread easily. Throughout the 20th century there were three pandemics, one in 1918, one in 1957, and one in 1968. Each of which resulted in large numbers of deaths. The 1918 pandemic was known as the “Spanish Flu” and was Influenza strain A(H1N1) and it caused the highest known

INFLUENZA

1093 words - 4 pages people or even entire populations have no antibody against the virus. Although this is potentially lethal, the virus can only start a pandemic if it is able to be spread easily. Throughout the 20th century there were three pandemics, one in 1918, one in 1957, and one in 1968. Each of which resulted in large numbers of deaths.The 1918 pandemic was known as the "Spanish Flu" and was Influenza strain A(H1N1) and it caused the highest known influenza

The Flu is an Imminent Pandemic

1207 words - 5 pages pandemics in the 20th century, most notably the 1918 Spanish Flu, wiped out an estimated 20-50 million people (CDC). Furthermore, it is almost certain that the next pandemic will be caused by a strain of influenza called H5N1, A.K.A. the notorious avian flu (CDC). Experts warn that question of this pandemic is not “if”, but “when”. So what does the future hold for us? Here are some basic facts about this seemingly mundane disease: 5%-20% of the US

Avian Influenza: Type A Virus Infection in Humans

3978 words - 16 pages (HPAI) with a mortality rate of 90% to 100%1. Avian H2, H5, H6, H7, H8, H9 and H10 are the subtypes that are the most likely to be transferred to humans. The subtypes of the avian influenza type A virus that routinely cause human influenza are H3N2, H2N2, H1N1 and H1N2. H1N1 was the virus that caused the Spanish influenza pandemic in 1918 that killed 20 million people as well as the Russian pandemic of 1977 which was less lethal1. Currently

H1N1

960 words - 4 pages immune systems were attacked. The H1N1 virus spread very quickly but did not cause a large amount of deaths worldwide. However, the Spanish flu in 1918 did cause a decent amount of deaths. Thankfully, Pandemics only occur every 10-50 years. Works Cited Khanna, M., Gupta, N., Gupta, A., & Vijayan, V. K. (2009, September). Influenza a (h1n1) 2009: a pandemic alarm. Retrieved from http://linkspringerr.com/article/10.1007/s12038-009-0053-z Smith

Similar Essays

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic Essay

2504 words - 10 pages The 1918 Influenza Pandemic The United States entered the War in 1918 and brought influenza to America that medical historian Roy Porter has called “the greatest single demographic shock mankind has ever experienced, the most deadly pestilence since the Black Death.”[1] In the late nineteen thirties, members of the Federal Writer’s Project (FWP) with the Works Progress Administration (WPA), interviewed people who remembered surviving the

The Influenza Pandemic Of 1918 Essay

1078 words - 4 pages The influenza pandemic of 1918 had not only altered the lives of thousands, but the habitual lives of family and work as well. The Spanish Influenza collected more lives than all of the casualties of war in the twentieth century combined. After the disease had swept through the nation, towns that once began their days in lazy, comfortable manners had begun to struggle to get through a single day. What started as a mild neglect of a typical fever

"Flu: The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic Of 1918"By Gina Kolata.

1919 words - 8 pages million people worldwide were killed in the great influenza pandemic of 1918. In spite of the horrific death toll, the flu pandemic of 1918 is often overlooked. Why this is the case, is but one of the many questions that Gina Kolata, a science writer for the New York Times, tries to answer in Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999). This paper is a

The 1918 Flu Pandemic Essay

1909 words - 8 pages The 1918 Flu Pandemic Abstract One of the most virulent strains of influenza in history ravaged the world and decimated the populations around the world. Present during World War I, the 1918 strain of pandemic influenza found many opportunities to spread through the war. At the time, science wasn’t advanced enough to study the virus, much less find a cure; medical personnel were helpless when it came to fighting the disease, and so the flu