The Spanish Influenza Epidemic Essay

984 words - 4 pages

The Spanish Influenza Epidemic

Los Angeles, October 28--The effects of the Spanish influenza outbreak from its date of original contamination, September 13(1), to now have been widespread and horrific. With more than 4500 new cases being reported today, the total for California is now above 60,000.(7) Not even two days prior to this printing, San Francisco witnessed its worst day, with over 2000 new cases reported accompanied by 96 deaths.(6) The once thought of "army epidemic" now has a firm grip on civilian life.

Following a trend set by many East coast cities over a month ago, many public facilities remain closed. Operational theaters and moving picture shows are now quite ...view middle of the document...

.. people are stricken on the streets, while at work in factories, shipyards, offices, and elsewhere." He continues, saying "First there is a chill, then fever with temperature from 101 to 103, headache, backache, reddening and running of the eyes, pains and aches all over the body, and general prostration." It is commonly suggested that if feeling these symptoms, one should quickly get into bed and isolate oneself, then call a physician. Common advice to prevent infection from this malady has been to stay active, eat well, sleep well, and spend as much time in open spaces as possible as to have the most amount of fresh air around. It is said to contain the stricken to bed at least until their temperature has dropped.(1) At present time physicians are being deployed around the country to places where either the epidemic has not yet been reported or places where there are inadequate facilities or staff to deal with the outbreaks.(4)

Spread of the disease is also commonly known. It is said that the source of the "flu" is through secretions from the nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory passages of a carrier. It is transmitted through direct or indirect contact with objects contaminated with fresh secretions, and also through droplets let out by sneezing, coughing, or in some cases, talking much too vigorously.(1)

Vaccines up to this point have not been of much help. We know now that this is not the same strain from over 25 years ago, commonly called Pfeiffer's bacillus, or the germ pneumococci, which causes lobar pneumonia.(2) Not having seen this strain of influenza before has deeply crippled the treatment options available for this ailment. The medical community has been working non stop to put an end to this epidemic, all the while having to deal with the casualties of war.

This malady has taken its toll on the whole of the human species. The disease...

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