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Old October 28th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #1

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Spanish Influenza


Arguably the single greatest killer of mankind, estimates ranging from 50 million - 100 million deaths. However different sources site different dates, eg:

1917 - 1920
1918 - 1919
1918 - 1920

Anyone know if there is a generally accepted set of dates for this epidemic among historians?
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Old October 29th, 2012, 03:35 AM   #2

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Hi Inc,
the Institute Pasteur says that the Spanish Flu pandemy are divided in 3 stages,
Phase1:March-June 1918
Phase2:the rest of 1918 until march of 1919
Phase3:march of 1919 to june of 1920
total of 2 years
this is the site for the Pasteur institute (in french)
http://www.pasteur.fr/infosci/conf/CRC/Grippe_CRC.ppt

but you are right there is a great discrepancy in the dates very confusing.

Last edited by Tairusiano; October 29th, 2012 at 04:13 AM.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 03:56 AM   #3

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I got hold of some local Danish newspapers from 1918, and the number of notices about death in the family are just horrifying, they take up several pages, and that is just in one day in two different daily local newspapers.

Also noticed from the notices that curiously enough the victims were mostly young people in their teens, twenties and early thirties, while infants and old people doesn't seem to have been effected very much.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 04:02 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inc View Post
Arguably the single greatest killer of mankind, estimates ranging from 50 million - 100 million deaths. However different sources site different dates, eg:

1917 - 1920
1918 - 1919
1918 - 1920

Anyone know if there is a generally accepted set of dates for this epidemic among historians?

The original bird flu it certainly killed millions, but i think the mosquito has much to answer for when it comes to killing people.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 04:09 AM   #5

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The main problem about the numbers of this pandemy is that it coincided in large part with the period of WW I.

First of all we have to keep in mind that in such a context of diffused starvation, lack of clean water, lack of medicines, lack of heating systems during winter .... the deaths were also consequences of weak organisms [a strong flu in a similar sanitary general bad situation had more possibility to kill].

Then, about collecting reliable data about a disease ..... imagine doing this in war time!

Try and check the numbers of the deaths of WW I, you will already find visible discrepancies. So you can understand that about a so diffused and lethal pandemy the numbers can be only statistically acceptable.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 04:15 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gudenrath View Post
Also noticed from the notices that curiously enough the victims were mostly young people in their teens, twenties and early thirties, while infants and old people doesn't seem to have been effected very much.
One of the programs I watched on this epidemic mentioned this fact and one of the theories was that younger people's stronger immune system response was part of the problem. Their immune system would go into overdrive fighting the flu and a combination of increased energy use and mucus production would kill the patient.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 04:21 AM   #7

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In Brazil this the spanish Flu had a great social impact(not counting the impact of the level of mortality)
with even the brazilian goverment giving permission to the brazilian native americans (indians) to kill anyone coming in reserves or leaving, to enforce a bloody quarentine system
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Old October 29th, 2012, 04:24 AM   #8

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Speaking of epidemics during the years as suggest by the OP, the death of epidemics in the Philippines like cholera and small pox which killed thousands of Filipinos was attributed to the Philippine-American War, and I was surprised when a German tourist talked with me at the airport in Cebu, Philippines, about it like these Filipinos were killed by American bullets. So I explained to him that the Philippines was democratic as of 1900's because my nation was an American colony.

During that time when the epidemic hit the Philippines, the Americans resorted to suggest cremation of bodies of victims of it. But it did not halt the spread of the ailment in view of the Filipino custom of visiting the sick besides the fact that cremation was not that effective because of the tradition of bringing the body of the dead to the Catholic cemeteries. In 1930's tuberculosis and malaria was the worst epidemic in the country.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 04:29 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire_Raven View Post
One of the programs I watched on this epidemic mentioned this fact and one of the theories was that younger people's stronger immune system response was part of the problem. Their immune system would go into overdrive fighting the flu and a combination of increased energy use and mucus production would kill the patient.
They call that cytokine storm,a over reaction of the immune system
desease had a pattern of killing peoples 20 to 65 years
a very unusual (for a flu) is the hemorragy in (in the mucous membranes) with some cases the people are misdiagnosed with another sickness,
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Old October 29th, 2012, 04:36 AM   #10

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In Spain, the flu (that was NOT Spanish) caused the larger death toll of the 20th century on a single year, larger than the worst years of the Civil War. The flu killed 300,000 people in 1918 alone, while from 1936 to 1939 the war killed 600,000 people

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