The Flu Epidemic 1918

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					Flu Epidemic
The Flu Epidemic
      1918
               Flu Epidemic
• The Flu Epidemic was often referred to as the
  Spanish Flu—not because the Flu originated
  there but because Spain, a neutral nation
  during WWI, released reports about it.
• Nations involved in the War were hesitant to
  report on the issue fearing that it would crush
  citizen morale.
               Flu Epidemic
• On March 11, 1918, the Flu broke out in Fort
  Riley, Kansas, among some 100 soldiers. A few
  days later, 500 prisoners at San Quentin
  succumbed to similar symptoms. Because the
  US was so preoccupied with the War, little was
  done.
              Flu Epidemic
• When American “doughboys” crossed the
  Atlantic to Europe, they brought the deadly
  disease with them.
• The deadliest wave of the epidemic came in
  September of 1918 in Boston as men began to
  mobilize for War came into contact with
  others. In October alone, 200,000 Americans
  would die as a result of infection.
               Flu Epidemic
• Average life expectancy drops by almost 15
  years.
• Unlike a typical strain of flu—which target the
  elderly or the very young—this strain attacked
  those between 20-40 years old. This amounts
  to 1/5 of the world’s population.
               Flu Epidemic
• The US makes a major mistake. Overwhelmed
  by the concern with morale the government
  does not warn citizens of the danger.
• No treatment.
• Gravediggers and coffins become a
  commodity. Many are left unburied which, of
  course, contributes to the spread of disease.
• The “flu” would take almost 30% of the US
  population.
               Flu Epidemic
• It became illegal to have a funeral last more
  than 15 minutes.
• Many actually believed this to be the
  beginning of biological warfare. The general
  belief was that the Germans had launched the
  virus as “payback”.
Flu Epidemic

				
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posted:9/14/2012
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