Influenza Pandemic of 1918 Jenn Howell
Overview Called Spanish Flu because the first documented outbreak was in Spain. The influenza pandemic of 1918 is usually overlooked in the teaching of U.S. history, and world history. It was over shadowed by WWI.
What It Was Known as the “Three Day Fever” If it did not kill, victims recovered in a few days. Some died within hours of their first symptom. Other died after a few days. Characterized as an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract. Lungs filled with fluid and they suffocated to death. The conditions of the flu were not much different than
Two Waves First wave was in the Spring 1918, mild. Second wave was in the Fall 1918, more severe. The war brought the virus back to the U.S. for the second wave. August 1918, in the same week, the flu broke out in three port cities far apart: Freetown, Sierra Leone; Brest, Belgium; and Boston, Massachusetts. (Crosby) Still don’t know if this outbreak was three different mutations or the same mutation
Influenza Cause Viruses cause influenza. Great War did not cause it, as many believed. Thought to have originated in China. Scientists believe that the viruses of influenza originate in birds. Usually the virus has to go from birds to pigs, where it mutates before reaching humans. Sample of lung tissue from people who died in the 1918-1919 pandemic concludes that this strain can come directly from birds.
- Spring '07
- Influenza pandemic, flu