Research Papers on the Flu Pandemic of 1918
If you have research that needs to cover the Pandemic of 1918, otherwise known as the Spanish Flu, our medical health and nursing writers can get you on the road to writing. Have the writers at Paper Masters cover the origin, the unique problems that were created with this pandemic and even how it is similar to the 2020 pandemic of Covid-19.
The 1918 flu pandemic is notable for its high mortality rate. While the exact causes of the pandemic are unknown, the 1918 influenza strain was linked to the spread of the H1N1 virus, the same virus responsible for the deadly swine flu pandemic in 2009. The influenza caused by H1N1 is particularly deadly. Between 50 and 100 million died during the 1918 pandemic.
Gina Kolata’s Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It reads like a medical detective novel and notes the following:
“It was twenty-five times more deadly than ordinary influenzas. This flu killed 2.5 percent of its victims. Normally, just one-tenth of one percent of people who get the flu die”.
To put this disease into perspective, if a similar pandemic struck today, with a similar percentage of death, “1.5 million Americans would die, which is more than the number felled in a single year by heart disease, cancers, stroke, chronic pulmonary disease, AIDS, and Alzheimer’s disease combined”. Kolata provides both anecdotal evidence, based on interviews with historians and scientists involved in tracking down the 1918 virus, as well as copious historical evidence.
The 1918 flu pandemic swept through several Western nations, including the following:
The number of international influenza cases rose quickly. Within two years, over one quarter of the world’s total population became infected. Children and the elderly were particularly vulnerable to infection.
The Complexities of the 1918 Flu - Much Like Covid-19
Despite the fact that the symptoms of the flu were, for all purposes, easy to detect, scientists and health care professionals were unable to distinguish the cause for the outbreak. Today, although numerous ideological and theoretical hypotheses exist, there is still no definitive answer as to the authentic cause of the pandemic. The controversy remains in flux. For example, while most historians propose that the flu was a mutated version of a yet unheard virus strain, others promote that the disease originated from squalid swine, infested rodents or infected birds. General consensus, amidst the present health care community, now states that the 1918 disaster was caused by a particular virus entitled H1N1. According to Australian scientist Sir Frank MacFarlane Burnett, “We can only guess what type of virus was responsible in 1918-19 and what changes took place during the course of the pandemic”. Many biological engineers, however, would contest this point as they believe that they have successfully reproduced the same strain that killed some fifty million individuals. The logical question, then, would be, does the aforementioned reproduction answer all of the questions needed to explain the origin of the outbreak? According to Kolata, “Scientists have captured the mass murderer, the 1918 flu virus. But they still do not know its murder weapon”.
Many of the problems associated with the Spanish Flu were created on the socio-political level. As the war raged and American government officials attempted to keep troops in good spirits, some politicians attempted to hide the severity of the pandemic. Their goal, as it was, was to reaffirm the so-called moral of those individuals fighting for freedom. An institution closely associated with the aforesaid tactics was Tammany Hall. Although the evidence remains up in the air, Tammany Hall has been linked to practices such as promoting incompetent heath care staff, money racketeering and the utilization of political hacks; all while people were dying in droves. Tammany Hall and its checkered past was not by itself with regards to unfavorable activity at the expense of others. As A.A. Houling writes, “In Philadelphia, Frank Burl, chief of the coroner’s bureau of investigation, revealed that certain cemeteries were collecting $15 burial fees, then informing the bereaved they would have to dig the graves and bury their own”.
As of late, many health care processionals have made it known that there exists a connection between the 1918 flu strain and the present day Avian Flu. According the theory, Avian flu, which is found in the intestines of wild birds, has the potential to mutate and reform into the systems of human beings. While only several cases have been found dating back to the late 1990's, the possibility does exist. It is important to note that there are varied versions of bird flu. Even still, as we have seen in parts of Asia, there is a potential for danger.
As history has progressed, many have long forgotten about the sheer destruction caused during the unfortunate events of 1918. Time has healed many of the wounds. Yet, as history has proven on several occasions, environmental and health related hazards are destined to return. The key to prevention, from an operational vantage, is to scientifically prepare for the worst.
Technological Innovation and the Flu
The 1918 flu pandemic illustrates the dangers sometimes caused by technological innovation. International transportation allowed sick people to carry the influenza to other nations, infecting the healthy. Without modern transportation, the influenza strain would have remained in relatively isolated sections of the world and the death of millions might have been avoided. In a well-researched paper you can put both the disease and the efforts to confront the disease into context. Interestingly, there is a large silence in general on the 1918 pandemic, as if medical experts and the world at large simply wished to put the horror out of collective memory. She is able to trace the path of the disease through Army camps in the United States because there were accurate records and top-level medical intervention.