Influenza Epidemic of 1918 Essay

Influenza Epidemic of 1918 Essay

Length: 1223 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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...

... middle of paper ...

...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.

Works Cited

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The 1918 Influenza Epidemic Essay

- What would later become one of the deadliest plagues the world had ever seen started innocuously enough in the spring of 1918 spreading through populations on both sides of the Atlantic. Remarkable for its highly infectious nature, the spring strain was relatively non-lethal, rarely killing infected individuals (Kolata, 1999). Thus little more than average attention was paid to the precursor of a virus that would eventually kill between twenty-one and one-hundred million individuals worldwide (Barry, 2004)....   [tags: Disease ]

Strong Essays
1587 words (4.5 pages)

The Spanish Flu - Response to the Influenza of 1918 Essay

- The Response to the Influenza of 1918 At the time, the Influenza of 1918 was called the Spanish Flu. Spain was not involved in the expanding great war (i.e., World War I) and therefore was not censoring it's press. However, Germany, Britain, and America were censoring their newspapers for anything that would lower morale. Therefore, Spain was the first country to publish accounts of the pandemic (Barry 171 and Furman 326), even though the pandemic most likely started in either France or the United States....   [tags: epidemic, pandemic, disease]

Strong Essays
1998 words (5.7 pages)

The 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic Essay

- Influenza is defined as an acute, commonly epidemic disease, occurring in several forms, caused by numerous rapidly mutating viral strains and characterized by respiratory symptoms and general prostration. Spanish flu was more than just a normal epidemic, it was a pandemic. Epidemics affect many people at the same time in areas where the disease doesn’t normally occur. A pandemic is an epidemic on a national, international, or global scale. The Spanish flu was different from the seasonal flu in one especially frightening way, there was an unusually high death rate among healthy adults aged 15 to 34 and lowered the life expectancy by more than ten years....   [tags: Health, Epidemic Deasease]

Strong Essays
1477 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Causes of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

- “It killed more people in twenty-four weeks than AIDS has killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. – John Barry Many historians call the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 the deadliest disease outbreak of all time. As many as 100 million people were killed as a direct result of this disease (Taubenberger 1). The Great Pandemic affected everyone, the prosperous and the poor, developed and underdeveloped nations. Entire villages in Alaska were wiped out because of the viral disease (Public Health Service)....   [tags: health, wellness, medical, epidemic]

Strong Essays
1204 words (3.4 pages)

The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 Essay

- The influenza pandemic of 1918 had not only altered the lives of thousands, but the habitual lives of family and work as well. The Spanish Influenza collected more lives than all of the casualties of war in the twentieth century combined. After the disease had swept through the nation, towns that once began their days in lazy, comfortable manners had begun to struggle to get through a single day. What started as a mild neglect of a typical fever or case of chills had escalated and grown at an alarmingly rapid rate to be fearsome and tragic....   [tags: Diseases/Disorders]

Strong Essays
1023 words (2.9 pages)

The 1918-1919 Influenza Epidemic Essay

- “I made money rapidly,” Charles Sligh explained, “The demands for flowers frequently were so great that all the florists in this community exhausted their supply daily, and the prices of everything were very high then.”1 Along with florists, funeral directors, and orderlies were also making a killing during World War One. “The undertaker which was half a block away from me had pine boxes on the sidewalk, pilled high. Me and two of my friends would go down there and play on those boxes; it was like playing on the pyramids.”2 Although business was booming for these professions, it was not because of the war....   [tags: The Great Influenza Pandemic]

Strong Essays
2713 words (7.8 pages)

Influenza Is A Contagious Respiratory Illness That Affects The Throat, Lungs, And Nose

- Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that affects the throat, lungs, and nose. First seen in a major epidemic in 1918, influenza has persisted to this very day. Every year starting in the fall, more than 40 million doses of the influenza vaccine are distributed in just the United States alone. Yet influenza, more commonly known as the flu, still affects millions of people worldwide. The flu vaccine is never 100% accurate because the various types of the influenza virus and the diverse strains that arise annually hinder the production of a vaccine that is guaranteed to work year after year....   [tags: Influenza, Influenza vaccine, Immune system]

Strong Essays
1859 words (5.3 pages)

The Influenza and Pneumonia Epidemic of 1918-1919 Essay

- The Influenza and Pneumonia Epidemic of 1918-1919 In the ten months between September 1918 and June 1919, 675,000 Americans died of influenza and pneumonia. When compared to the number of Americans killed in combat in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam combined- 423,000- it becomes apparent that the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919 was far more deadly than the war which it accompanied. (Crosby, 206-207) The United States and the rest of the world had been exposed to such epidemics in the past, but never at such a severe cost in human life....   [tags: American America History]

Strong Essays
2976 words (8.5 pages)

Children's Songs' Popularity in 1918 Essay example

- Children's Songs' Popularity in 1918 A brief review of the historical year of 1918 when people were informed to take precaution against influenza, while their children came up with a catchy tune for the "worst epidemic the United States has ever known"1 and comparing it with the influenza of today. PHILADELPHIA-- I had a little bird, Its name was Enza, I opened the window In 'flu' Enza. What is the truth behind the song mentioned above that children sing so often during those days. Ironic how the soldiers who came home from the war not only brought life, for they came back alive, but also brought what will soon become the death of so many....   [tags: Influenza Songs Essays]

Free Essays
776 words (2.2 pages)

War and Influenza Epidemic Essay

- A View from the Chelsea Naval Hospital BOSTON, September 12, 1918 Dear Journal, The Great War rages on. An influenza epidemic claims the lives of several Americans. But, the Boston Red Sox have done it again. Last night, in a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Fenway Park (thanks to Carl Mays' three-hitter), the Boston Red Sox won their fifth World Series championship--amid death and disease, a reason to live ... Babe Ruth and the 1918 Red Sox. If I die today, at least I lived to see the Sox win the championship....   [tags: Creative Writing Essays]

Free Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)