Influenza Epidemic of 1918

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The epidemic began at around the end of the first World War and was the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. Some symptoms of the influenza included muscle pains, sore throat, headache, fever, glandular disturbances, eye aberrations, heart action slowing, and depression of all bodily functions and reactions. The flu is highly contagious and spreads around easily whenever an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. This global disaster was nicknamed the “Spanish Flu,” or “La Grippe.” The nickname of the Spanish Flu came from one of the earliest countries to be hit hard by influenza; eight million people in Spain were killed in the May of 1918. There were also other nicknames for the epidemic. The French called it “purulent bronchitis,” the Italians named it “sandfly fever,” and the Germans labeled it “Blitz Katarrh.” The Influenza Epidemic of 1918, a virus that spread throughout the globe, affected the world in many ways and had many devastating after effects.
There were many speculations of where the disease originated. Many Americans believed that the epidemic was a biological warfare tool of the Germans because of the war. In New York Times, a patriot said “Let the curse be called the German plague. Let every child learn to associate what is accursed with the word German not in the spirit of hate but in the spirit of contempt born of the hateful truth which Germany has proved herself to be.” Others thought that it was a result of trench warfare by the use of mustard gases and generated smoke and fumes of the war. Some even blamed the pandemic on the war itself, and others pointed to the poor sanitation the war had brought on. Dr. Albert J. Croft says, “...I am going to advance the theory that the c...

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...and killed many people but there were some good things that came out of it. The influenza caused the United States Public Health Service (PHS) to expand and develop. The PHS has provided financial assistance for hospitals; developed sanitation programs; conducted surveillance of infectious diseases; and delivered high-quality healthcare to whoever that needed it. After the years of the disease, the American public health policy improved a lot, and the virus taught America important lessons which proved essential to the maintenance of a healthy population. Even though it had killed millions of people, the influenza epidemic of 1918 had helped America gain better understanding of contagious diseases.

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