The 1918 Influenza Pandemic Essay Research Paper — страница 3

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nose and eyes, bad chills accompanied later by a fever of at least 101 to 103 degrees, aching joints and back pains, sudden loss of hunger and a debilitating feeling. These symptoms were the full and complete basis for diagnosis. The only glitch is that the killer in actuality is not the flu, it is the viral pneumonia or bacteria pneumonia that follows. In many of the cases resulting in death, large amounts of fluid were found lodged in the carriers throat. An example was private Roscoe Vaughn, a private, stationed in camp Jackson located in North Carolina. He was found dead containing 1 + cups of this same clear fluid[Kolata pgs.28-30]. The only problem is that today the many dead, preserved lungs kept from 1918 have disintegrated, due to the fact they are a tissue and do not

hold form. A fifth of the world got the flu in 1918. It Spread from place to place in days, airborne and infecting many as it went. From its origination it soared in record time to France and Spain around the month of April, in Spain, King Alfonso XIII contracted the flu virus. From there it spread to England in May, only to have King George fall victim to its mad hands. Along with England, South America, Africa and the Scandinavian countries as well, fell victim in May. Soon after in June it was slowly disappearing in England and arising quite rapidly in China and Japan. The USA first saw signs of the flu when a Norwegian steam liner, The Bergensfjord, arrived to an Atlantic port on August the 12th, aboard were 200 cases [New York Times, Sat. 28, 1918]. Soon after more than 25%

of the USA fell ill. Huge outbreaks of the flu were immediately being reported. Particularly three camps, Fort Devons, Fort Lee, and Fort Upton. Devans reporting some 6, 583 recipients, Lee having a total of 1,121, as well as Upton ranking in third with 602, and many other camps right on their tail with incredibly high numbers as well [New York Times, Sat. 28, 1918]. This was only the beginning, the death totals began to grow in number soon after. Unfortunately due to WWI the number of medical staff available was definitely a lot smaller than needed to help control the flu. According to THE NEW YORK TIMES, Massachusetts put a request in for 1,000,000 people to help aid in the great influenza fight [New York Times, Sat 28, 1918]. There was an incredible shortage of doctors and

nurses, many were tending to our injured or sick, uniformed men, at the various camps. By them being away left a huge amount of citizens without appropriate care. Another bid to the government was for $25,000 to pay for the repair of old buildings to hold the ill patients, also to pay the salaries of the people they planned to hire. In New England tens of thousands were affected and hospitals were full to their brink. On the other hand a mere 40% of our navy got sick, along with 36% of our Army[Kolata pg.6-7]. Both, being such crucial pieces in our nations defense, left us almost short handed of men due to the fact many were either sick in bed or on their death beds. Many military operations were being delayed and even in some cases put off. German General Erich von Ludendorff

added, It was a grievous business having to listen every morning to the Chief of Staff s recital of the number of influenza cases, and their complaints about the weakness of their troops . [Kolata, pg.11] A letter written to a friend from a doctor, was found 60 years later, it states, Camp Devons is near Boston, and has about 50,000 men, or did before this epidemic broke loose, The flu Epidemic hit the camp four weeks earlier, he added, and has developed so rapidly that the camp is demoralized and all ordinary work is held up till it has passed. All assemblages of soldiers are taboo. [Kolata, 13]. Quite alarming were all the cases popping up around the globe, so many that it was almost more concievable to try and control its cases rather than eliminate the flu as a whole.

Historian Crosby, knowing some what of all the deaths as a result of the 1918 flu, decided to rummage through some old almanacs. In his findings he had concluded that the life expectancy in one year had dropped a total of 12 years. Crosby stated, What the hell happened? The life expectancy had dropped to what it had been fifty years before. In 1918 alone the flu had taken the lives of 2.5% of its victims. Although accurate number will never really be seen, due to the fact some countries too overwhelmed with the number of deaths they just did not keep accurate records. But an estimated 20 to 100 million people died. This number is so great, that it alone in the USA, is more deaths total in one year than that of AIDS, heart disease, cancer, strokes, chronic pulmonary disease, and