The disaster that was Spanish Flu

Despite its horrors, the Spanish Flu never actually left us. Over time, the Spanish Flu has resurfaced as common flu. In other dangerous cases, it has merged with other viruses and created potent danger.

Dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic has made many wonder about the pandemics and epidemics that occurred previously. One of the most notorious viral infections that had gripped the world a century ago was the Spanish Flu. Originated in 1918, in Kansas, USA, the first case happened to military personnel. Despite its occurrence in the USA, the name suggests Spanish Flu. Because at that time the First World War was being raged in the world. At that time Spain remained neutral and its press was under no censorship. This made them widely report on the flu making everyone else think that only Spain was undergoing this viral infection. 

The Spanish Flu was a respiratory infection that spread from the USA to many European countries and even, Asia, Africa, Russia and New Zealand. It had affected approximately 500 million people and killed more than 50 million people. The fatality rate during that time was 2.7%. For comparison, the current pandemic has a fatality rate of 0.05%. In India a recorded 1 crore people had lost their life. This was at a time when medical developments were insignificant and no antibiotic or vaccine was ever made. Even penicillin wasn’t discovered till 1928. 

Just like the covid-19, the Spanish flu too came in waves. The world experienced three waves. In India, the first wave was believed to start in Bombay and spread to the entire country. Then in September 1918, the second wave hit. The second wave was the most destructive because the mortality rates were significant. The third wave was believed to have started in Australia and then it spread to the UK, France, Serbia and other countries. In India, there is no substantial number that can point out how destructive the third wave of infection was. But it is believed that the second wave was the most destructive followed by the third wave and then the first wave. 

Despite its horrors, the Spanish Flu never actually left us. There was no vaccine that was developed to battle it out. Instead, people developed immunity against it. But over time, the Spanish Flu has resurfaced as common flu. In other dangerous cases, it has merged with other viruses and created potent danger. The Spanish flu strain H1N1 got combined with other flu, like bird flu and swine flu. In 1957, we witnessed Asian flu (H2N2). Later in 1968, Hong Kong flu came (H3N3) and in 2009 Swine flu (H1N1) broke out. 

The Spanish flu has been a notorious and disastrous experience in our history. Yet today many scientists and researchers have gained knowledge on battling viruses by studying it. Sometimes bad experiences leave the strongest learnings.

Tags : #spanishflu #pandemic #covid-19 #worldwar1 #WW1 #birdflu #swinflu #asianflu #hongkongflu #smitakumar #medicircle

About the Author


Priyal Shah

Priyal Shah is a graduate of Media from Mithibai College, Mumbai. She is a writer, researcher and avid reader.

Related Stories

Loading Please wait...

-Advertisements-


Trending Now

Is Liposuction surgery safe? Know the side effects of Liposuction Surgery May 21, 2022
The BD 'Advances in Clinical Flow Cytometry' Event provides clinicians with a rich knowledge-sharing platformMay 21, 2022
Omega 3 fatty acids – The essential fatMay 21, 2022
Vitamin B12 – Deficiency and sourcesMay 21, 2022
CDSCO has approved Boehringer Ingelheim's Jardiance for the treatment of heart failure.May 20, 2022
Hanuman raises over $.5 million to expand its emergency medical response services in Bihar, Jharkand and UP May 20, 2022
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) – Causes and preventive methodsMay 20, 2022
Healthcare Innovation Challenge: Data's Expanding Role in the Healthcare SectorMay 20, 2022
Homeopathy in Pregnancy - Homeopathy Treatment | MedicircleMay 20, 2022
MetroMedi launches the MetroMedi Relief platform for mental and sexual health wellbeing.May 20, 2022
Top Health Benefits for Butter milk May 20, 2022
Sumit Agarwal- Born with Cerabral Palsy to today being an acclaimed entrepreneur in the public relations industry in IndiaMay 20, 2022
Five eye hospitals in the Tri-city region have been acquired by Dr. Agarwal's Eye Hospital.May 19, 2022
World Family Doctor Day, 2022 – Family doctor makes care easily accessible May 19, 2022
Adani Enterprises will explore the healthcare industry.May 19, 2022
Tips for Weight Loss May 19, 2022
What should be the diet during menopause? May 19, 2022
5 Tips To Get Rid Of Cracked Heels In SummerMay 19, 2022
How is meditation beneficial in reducing low blood pressure?May 18, 2022
Why should we not eat mushrooms because of kidney disease? May 18, 2022