Influenza Pandemic Says Goodbye

Kaitlan Hyland


            Finally, the deadliest epidemic in recorded history seems to be in remission. The patients suffered a fever of short duration before an abrupt death. In the spring of 1918 some soldiers complained of sore throat, headaches, and loss of appetite. The recovery was fast giving it the nickname “three day fever.” By the summer of 1918 the soldiers’ symptoms became lethal; many victims developed bronchial pneumonia, septicemia blood poisoning, or heliotrope cyanosis and died soon after.

            The cause still remains unknown, but many rumors have circulated. Some believe that German spies planted the Boston harbor with influenza germs. It is also thought that poison gases from the war, air charged with carbon dioxide (form trenches), and gases from decomposing bodies all caused the influenza pandemic. Neither of these theories can be proven, but a recent study found that humidity was linked to the more severe epidemics.

            Within the past year we have tried everything in order to prevent this deadly flu. We’ve sprayed our streets with chemicals, we wore anti-germ masks, and Allowed smoking in all places with the belief that tobacco fumes killed the virus, and we’ve eaten more than our fair share of porridge. We have also rid of tight clothes and shoes, stopped using common utensils and cups, and restrained ourselves from coughing and sneezing in public places. None of these precautions were even proven effective, yet we were willing to try any thing.

            The pandemic made it’s way around the world killing an estimated 70,000,000 people. People from the ages of 20-40 were most likely to contract the deadly flu. In America 675,000 people died from influenza. The average American lifespan even decreased by ten years. In Britain 228,000 people were killed. 40,000 German civilians lost their lives to this flu. India was hit the hardest, over 16,000,000 people died. With all of the chaos it brought we are all thankful the influenza pandemic is coming to an end.


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