The Importance Of The 1918 Influenza Pandemic

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Pandemics are events in which a disease spreads across the entire world. Many pandemics have become notorious for their lethality, symptoms, or historical events that surrounded them. Various notorious pandemics include the ‘Black Death,’ an event caused by the plague, Yersinia Pestis, that killed an estimated 25 million people (“Black Death”), or the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) pandemic, an event that has killed an estimated 35 million people (“HIV/AIDS”). The ‘Black Death’ and the HIV/AIDS pandemic have killed many people; however, neither has killed nearly as many people as the 1918 influenza pandemic. The 1918 influenza pandemic, better known as the ‘Spanish Flu,’ was a strain of the influenza virus that struck in the wake of world war one (WWI). The 1918 influenza pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people, with some estimates as high as 100 million deaths (Taubenberger, “1918 Influenza: the Mother” 1) with at least 500 thousand of those deaths being American…show more content…
The transmission of the flu can only happen within a certain time period. This time period is from when the virus enters the body to four to seven days after it leaves the body (“How Flu Spreads”), and symptoms will only show after one to four days from hen the virus enters the body (“How Flu Spreads”). This allows for a time period where the virus can spread but not show symptoms, so the host does not know they are spreading the virus. This helps spread the virus because when someone identifies an illness, they will usually stay inside and away from other humans, stopping transmission. This time period allows for the virus to be transmittable while the host has not isolated themself. The population’s unknowingness of transmission was a factor in the ease of transmission of the 1918 pandemic

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