Spanish flu

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Event.png Spanish flu (“pandemic”) Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Spanish flu.jpg
At the regiment in Boden (Sweden), 1918.
DateJanuary 1918 - December 1920
Locationglobal
Deaths50000000

The 1918 influenza pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920), colloquially known as Spanish flu, was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic which infected 500 million people around the world, or about 27% of the then world population of between 1.8 and 1.9 billion, including people on isolated Pacific islands and in the Arctic.

The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest epidemics in human history. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify its geographic origin with certainty.[1]

Concerns

Some, like Dr Gary G. Kohls, connect the 1918 flu to vaccine developments of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research at the time and conclude that the pandemic may have been a medical trial that went wrong.[2][3] There are several notable points about the 1918 influenza pandemic that warrant attention:[4]

  • The "Spanish flu" was not contagious; during corresponding human trials in Boston and San Francisco in the fall of 1918, not one of the test subjects fell ill due to normal infection, despite all efforts (like several sick people sneezing into the face of healthy people)
  • Geographical origin and course of the pandemic are completely unclear and are based on unconfirmed individual reports, according to which the epidemic must have broken out even on several continents at the same time
  • There were great differences in the course of the disease and its symptoms
  • To this day, no one can explain why it was primarily healthy young adults who were affected - and not the weak and elderly, as one would think
  • While today it is believed that the Spanish flu was caused by an influenza virus, in 1918 mass vaccination against a bacterium (Haemophilus influenzae) was carried out - allegedly with great success
  • Many contemporaries saw a connection between the mass vaccinations of that time (especially against smallpox and typhoid) and the waves of illness that immediately followed. According to eyewitnesses, only vaccinated people fell ill with the "Spanish flu"
  • To this day, the mass vaccinations of that time (against "influenza", among others) are not discussed and their possible connection with the "Spanish flu" is not reappraised
  • Historians today are surprised that the circumstances of the "Spanish flu" were more or less hushed up in publications by doctors of the time

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