The curious case of Influenza

1918 Influenza Spanish Flu

So in today’s article, we are going to find out what is influenza? When did this happen? And, most of them have not even heard about this.

When I said Influenza, what is the first thing that popped into your mind?

May be some kind of influencer from Instagram or Youtube?

Oh God, No, Not at all.

Or, what if I ask you, what happened in the year 1918?

Without a flick of an eye, everyone would say world war-1 ended (at least few per se)!

Still, No only if it were that simple. But, it was also the beginning of another war. Now, enough of these questions. Let’s get started.

The mask which everyone is wearing now, is not the first time, they even wore it in 1918 due to the virus called Influenza.

Influenza, also known as Spanish flu (but did not originate in Spain, it just covered the outbreak first in media), which infected almost one-third of the human population on earth, which killed around 50-100 million humans (a bit less than Thanos). In today’s figure it would be around 250 – 400 million deaths which is a quite huge number. America was one of the largest infected and death places on earth it killed around 700,000 only in America. Even now America is one of the highest infected and deaths on earth, but I am damn sure that Trump was not the President during that time if he was the President then (Economy over people); half of America would be wiped out just like Thanos plan. Above all, more soldiers died due to influenza than the war on the battlefield of world war-1.

How it Spread?

The virus was spread through the air from coughs or sneezes. It also spread by touching surfaces contaminated by the virus and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth. Similar to Corona Virus.

So, what it was like getting killed by an invisible enemy?

The patients first developed a kind of pneumonia that affects lungs and death in 10 to 12 days. The problem was doctors, scientists and all did not know what was killing them as the research was not that developed and did not have an advanced medical devices because we are talking about the 1900’s era.

The weirdest thing about death was, it was due to bleeding from mouth and nose and in some cases, they bled from ears and eyes as well (just a little piece of advice, don’t imagine this, trust me) also they turned into dark blue due to lack of oxygen.

The virus used to affect the lungs such that; it restricts the amount of space we have in the lungs to breathe which would lead to death. The deaths happened due to two reasons, Firstly, weak immune system and death; Secondly, strong immune system and death; weird right, yeah; an enormous strong immune response would result in lungs getting filled with fluid trying to attack the virus that got into them as a result, it would lead to death.

Influenza In India

This virus had attacked India as well. Interestingly; it was called Bombay Influenza/Bombay Fever (because that’s where it all started) in India. Most importantly, it killed around 15 million Indians. Even now Maharashtra ranks highest in Corona Virus.

Even then people were asked to self-quarantine to avoid public and social gatherings. By the year 1919- 1920, the flu pandemic came to an end, as those that were infected either died or developed immunity.

Thank you for reading and hope to see you in the next one.

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