Americas Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918

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You can go to cart and save for later there. America's Forgotten Pandemic : The Influenza of Average rating: 0 out of 5 stars, based on 0 reviews Write a review. Alfred W Crosby. Walmart Tell us if something is incorrect. Book Format: Choose an option. Add to Cart. Product Highlights Tracing the influenza pandemic of that claimed over 25 million lives worldwide. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it.

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America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of by Alfred W. Crosby - headsbatmesurfworl.ml

See our disclaimer. Between August and March the Spanish influenza spread worldwide, claiming over 25 million lives, more people than those perished in the fighting of the First World War. It proved fatal to at least a half-million Americans. Yet, the Spanish flu pandemic is largely forgotten today. In this vivid narrative, Alfred W. No concern whatever is felt. The next day two sailors died of influenza. The next day 14 sailors died—and the first civilian. Each day the disease accelerated.

Each day newspapers assured readers that influenza posed no danger. By September 26, influenza had spread across the country, and so many military training camps were beginning to look like Devens that the Army canceled its nationwide draft call. Philadelphia had scheduled a big Liberty Loan parade for September Doctors urged Krusen to cancel it, fearful that hundreds of thousands jamming the route, crushing against each other for a better view, would spread disease. They convinced reporters to write stories about the danger. But editors refused to run them, and refused to print letters from doctors.

The incubation period of influenza is two to three days. In truth, nurses had no impact because none were available: Out of 3, urgent requests for nurses submitted to one dispatcher, only were provided. There was plenty of cause. At its worst, the epidemic in Philadelphia would kill people Priests drove horse-drawn carts down city streets, calling upon residents to bring out their dead; many were buried in mass graves.


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More than 12, Philadelphians died— nearly all of them in six weeks. Across the country, public officials were lying. Over a four-day period in October, the hospital at Camp Pike admitted 8, soldiers.

Hundreds died in Syracuse during 1918 flu epidemic

There is only death and destruction. People knew this was not the same old thing, though. They knew because the numbers were staggering—in San Antonio, 53 percent of the population got sick with influenza. They knew because victims could die within hours of the first symptoms—horrific symptoms, not just aches and cyanosis but also a foamy blood coughed up from the lungs, and bleeding from the nose, ears and even eyes.

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And people knew because towns and cities ran out of coffins. People could believe nothing they were being told, so they feared everything, particularly the unknown. How long would it last? How many would it kill? Who would it kill? With the truth buried, morale collapsed. Society itself began to disintegrate. In most disasters, people come together, help each other, as we saw recently with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

But in , without leadership, without the truth, trust evaporated. And people looked after only themselves. The Bureau of Child Hygiene begged people to take in—just temporarily—children whose parents were dying or dead; few replied. These people are almost all at the point of death. Nothing seems to rouse them now There are families in which the children are actually starving because there is no one to give them food.

The death rate is so high and they still hold back. She came and tapped on the window, but refused to talk to me until she had gotten a safe distance away.

America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918

Nobody was coming in, nobody would bring food in, nobody came to visit. You were afraid even to go out The fear was so great people were actually afraid to leave their homes You had no school life, you had no church life, you had nothing It completely destroyed all family and community life Fear emptied places of employment, emptied cities. Shipbuilding workers throughout the Northeast were told they were as important to the war effort as soldiers at the front. Yet at the L. Shattuck Co.

Gilchrist yard only 45 percent did; at Freeport Shipbuilding only 43 percent; at Groton Iron Works, 41 percent. Fear emptied the streets, too. One night, driving the 12 miles home, he saw not a single car. It was really a city of the dead. Then, as suddenly as it came, influenza seemed to disappear. It had burned through the available fuel in a given community. An undercurrent of unease remained, but aided by the euphoria accompanying the end of the war, traffic returned to streets, schools and businesses reopened, society returned to normal.

A third wave followed in January , ending in the spring. This was lethal by any standard except the second wave, and one particular case would have an exceptional impact on history. His sudden weakness and severe confusion halfway through that conference—widely commented upon—very possibly contributed to his abandoning his principles. The result was the disastrous peace treaty, which would later contribute to the start of World War II.

In fact, he had a degree temperature, intense coughing fits, diarrhea and other serious symptoms. A stroke explains none of the symptoms. Influenza, which was then widespread in Paris and killed a young aide to Wilson, explains all of them—including his confusion. Experts would later agree that many patients afflicted by the pandemic influenza had cognitive or psychological symptoms. After that third wave, the virus did not go away, but it did lose its extraordinary lethality, partly because many human immune systems now recognized it and partly because it lost the ability to easily invade the lungs.

No longer a bloodthirsty murderer, it evolved into a seasonal influenza. Scientists and other experts are still asking questions about the virus and the devastation it caused, including why the second wave was so much more lethal than the first. Another question concerns who died.


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  5. Even though the death toll was historic, most people who were infected by the pandemic virus survived; in the developed world, the overall mortality was about 2 percent. In the less developed world, mortality was worse. In Mexico, estimates of the dead range from 2. Much of Russia and Iran saw 7 percent of the population die. In the Fiji Islands 14 percent of the population died—in 16 days. One-third of the population of Labrador died. In small native villages in Alaska and Gambia, everyone died, probably because all got sick simultaneously and no one could provide care, could not even give people water, and perhaps because, with so much death around them, those who might have survived did not fight.

    The age of the victims was also striking. Normally, elderly people account for the overwhelming number of influenza deaths; in , that was reversed, with young adults killed in the highest numbers. This effect was heightened within certain subgroups. For instance, a Metropolitan Life Insurance Company study of people aged 25 to 45 found that 3. Other studies found that for pregnant women, fatality rates ranged from 23 percent to 71 percent.

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