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Old 05-01-2020, 11:41 AM   #1
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1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic

A bit of history.

The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history. It was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin.
Although there is not universal consensus regarding where the virus originated, it spread worldwide during 1918-1919.
In the United States, it was first identified in military personnel in spring 1918. It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus.
The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States.
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Old 05-01-2020, 12:04 PM   #2
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Old 05-01-2020, 12:48 PM   #3
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The book, "The Great Influenza" by John M Barry (2004) is a great read on the 1918-1920 influenza.

As a matter of fact with minor changes it could be re-titled, "The Great Covid" It has served me quite well since last January as to the progress/timeline of recent events.
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Old 05-01-2020, 01:06 PM   #4
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We should all learn from not only the 1918 Flu epidemic but the epidemic's of long past history.

The "Black Plague" wiped out an estimated 1/3 of the population in Europe and it took up to 200 years for recovery. Not just replacing the lost population but recovery from the changes in society.

Both the Spanish Flu and the old Black Plague were spread by travel. and lack of proper isolation.

People will soon forget that this current virus was "imported" into the US and it started with only a very few individuals that came through a health screening process that resembles chicken wire more than "screen".
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Old 05-01-2020, 02:20 PM   #5
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At the time of the Spanish flu we were at war and the sedition act prevented publishing news stories that would harm the war effort making papers afriad to mention how bad it was.

I believe Spanish flu was traced back to Fort Riley KS. Its called the Spanish flu because Spain was not at war and would publish the news where here they would not.
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Old 05-01-2020, 02:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbledan View Post
At the time of the Spanish flu we were at war and the sedition act prevented publishing news stories that would harm the war effort making papers afriad to mention how bad it was.

I believe Spanish flu was traced back to Fort Riley KS. Its called the Spanish flu because Spain was not at war and would publish the news where here they would not.
Exactly right...

George W. Bush read this book and was punted into action.

From 2005:
CNN.com - Bush unveils*$7.1 billion plan to prepare for flu pandemic - Nov 2, 2005
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Old 05-01-2020, 03:00 PM   #7
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Exactly right...

George W. Bush read this book and was punted into action.

From 2005:
CNN.com - Bush unveils*$7.1 billion plan to prepare for flu pandemic - Nov 2, 2005
Sadly many of the med stockpiles and preventative measures would not help us much with this outbreak but some of the measures could have helped to catch it early. Perhaps stockpiling PPE, how to sanitize PPE successfully and gloves is a good lesson learned from this one. Even better is global supply chain management...every company has learned something most the hard way.

The 1968 pandemic mentioned at the end of that article is Influenza A...still dealing with various strains of that. Hoping the next mutation of COVID has less severe symptoms. Optimisticly we wipe it out but thats going to be a tall order.
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Old 05-01-2020, 05:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dbledan View Post
Sadly many of the med stockpiles and preventative measures would not help us much with this outbreak but some of the measures could have helped to catch it early. Perhaps stockpiling PPE, how to sanitize PPE successfully and gloves is a good lesson learned from this one. Even better is global supply chain management...every company has learned something most the hard way.

The 1968 pandemic mentioned at the end of that article is Influenza A...still dealing with various strains of that. Hoping the next mutation of COVID has less severe symptoms. Optimisticly we wipe it out but thats going to be a tall order.
Supply chain management? What management. Companies were allowed to take their production offshore with little regard for consequences should something like our current pandemic occur.

As for "wiping it out", that will depend on whether or now our leaders want to commit more money to medical research or just "Pork as usual".
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:08 PM   #9
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National Museum of Industrial History

For a great presentation on how Bethlehem Steel (and in contrasts, Pittsburgh) dealt with the pandemic of 1918, check out www.nmih.org
They have had different presenters give several interesting talks on various subjects. Learning all that Bethlehem Steel did in order to keep producing war products for WW1.
Fascinating museum to check out if your travels take you near to Bethlehem, PA.

Stay healthy.
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dbledan View Post
At the time of the Spanish flu we were at war and the sedition act prevented publishing news stories that would harm the war effort making papers afriad to mention how bad it was.

I believe Spanish flu was traced back to Fort Riley KS. Its called the Spanish flu because Spain was not at war and would publish the news where here they would not.
Based on Army records, the flu originated with a single farmer's son in western Kansas who was drafted into the Army and reported to Fort Riley. He became sick and reported to the base hospital. Soon more than 100 soldiers were sick and the spread started. Sick soldiers were ordered to France in stead of waiting and sending soldiers who were recovered and not contagious. The flu spread throughout France and Germany and then all of Europe winding up in Spain. The Spanish called it the French Flu. Ironically, the soldier who was the apparent primary vector made a full recovery and lived to a ripe old age. Regrettably, 10's of millions cannot say the same thing. It claimed my grandfather in winter 1919-20.
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Old 05-02-2020, 06:14 PM   #11
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During the Spanish flu pandemic they found out that fresh air and sunshine improved the treatment of the flu. It was called the "fresh air factor." So, lets all go camping!
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:38 AM   #12
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1918 Spanish Flu historical documentary https://youtu.be/UDY5COg2P2c
Many simularities to today.
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