Breaking News
October 17, 2018 - Modeling Non-Numerical Data in Systems Biology
October 17, 2018 - Research aims to address health disparities in African-American men
October 17, 2018 - Human and cattle decoys trap outdoor-biting mosquitoes in malaria endemic regions
October 17, 2018 - High Circulating Prolactin Level Inversely Linked to T2DM Risk
October 17, 2018 - Study finds gene variant predisposes people to both Type 2 diabetes and low body weight
October 17, 2018 - Network of doctors identify the cause of 31 new conditions
October 17, 2018 - Notable improvement in brain cancer survival among younger patients but not much for elderly
October 17, 2018 - Scientists shed light on roles of transcription factors, TP63 and SOX2, in squamous cell carcinoma
October 17, 2018 - Costs of Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program may be higher than expected reimbursement
October 17, 2018 - Misuse of prescription opioids or benzodiazepines associated with suicidal thoughts
October 17, 2018 - New research seeks to address sex disparities in women’s health
October 17, 2018 - C-Section Rates Have Nearly Doubled Since 2000: Study
October 17, 2018 - Talking to Your Kids About STDs
October 17, 2018 - New classification of periodontal and peri-implant diseases and conditions
October 17, 2018 - Herbert D. Kleber, Pioneer in Addiction Treatment, Dies at 84
October 17, 2018 - Health effects of smoke-filled atmosphere
October 17, 2018 - Down syndrome may hold important clues to onset of Alzheimer’s disease
October 17, 2018 - A special report on US’ aging societies
October 17, 2018 - Birth mode may have acute effects on neurodevelopment, study suggests
October 17, 2018 - Global health innovation system fails to deliver affordable treatments to patients, says report
October 17, 2018 - Simple, inexpensive test quickly detects antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’
October 17, 2018 - New drugs could reduce risk of heart disease when added to statins
October 17, 2018 - Visible and valued: Stanford Medicine’s first-ever LGBTQ+ Forum
October 17, 2018 - HVP vaccination not linked with rise in teen risky sex
October 17, 2018 - Potential ‘early warning markers’ for sepsis discovered
October 17, 2018 - Who knew? Life begins (again) at 65
October 17, 2018 - Application of blood pressure guidelines ups treatment
October 17, 2018 - Stanford researchers find that small molecule may help treat enzyme deficiency
October 17, 2018 - Speed Cameras Save Money and Lives in New York City
October 17, 2018 - Men who conform to ‘the man box’ more likely to consider suicide and violence
October 17, 2018 - Researchers aim to create more authentic organoids for drug testing, transplantation
October 16, 2018 - New blood test for pediatric brain tumor patients offers safer approach than surgical biopsies
October 16, 2018 - Age-related estrogen increase may be the culprit behind inguinal hernias in men
October 16, 2018 - Skills-Based Intervention Did Not Cut Systolic BP After Stroke, TIA
October 16, 2018 - Researchers uncover new role of TIP60 protein in controlling tumour formation
October 16, 2018 - Behind the scenes of a lifesaving heart surgery
October 16, 2018 - ‘To See the Suffering’
October 16, 2018 - Drinking concentrated rosemary extract can boost memory by up to 15%, shows research
October 16, 2018 - Medicare Advantage riding high as new insurers flock to sell to seniors
October 16, 2018 - NHS tackles prescription fraud to save millions
October 16, 2018 - New molecular switch may help develop sophisticated photomedications
October 16, 2018 - Improving access to behavioral health screenings for pregnant and postpartum women
October 16, 2018 - Health Highlights: Oct. 12, 2018
October 16, 2018 - Study holds promise for new pediatric brain tumor treatment
October 16, 2018 - Patient advocate uses MRI scans to create art and spark conversations about life with illness
October 16, 2018 - Fish oil based diets may suppress growth and spread of breast cancer cells
October 16, 2018 - Number of VHA facilities offering acupuncture has increased rapidly
October 16, 2018 - Influential Leapfrog Group jumps in to rate 5,600 surgery centers
October 16, 2018 - HIV-infected infants more likely to acquire congenital cytomegalovirus infection
October 16, 2018 - Study pinpoints new marker that can predict Crohn’s disease subtype
October 16, 2018 - Simple procedure could be efficacious intervention for failed back surgery
October 16, 2018 - New research identifies modifiable dementia risk factor in elderly people
October 16, 2018 - Zebrafish study uncovers molecular ‘brake’ that helps control eye lens development
October 16, 2018 - Overlapping copy number variations underlie autism and schizophrenia in Japanese patients
October 16, 2018 - Early menopause and diabetes may reduce life expectancy
October 16, 2018 - Majority of Americans’ ancestry can be traced through existing DNA databases
October 16, 2018 - Patients coerced into mental health care less likely to perceive treatment as effective
October 16, 2018 - Healthy elders can consume walnuts without having negative impact on weight gain, finds study
October 16, 2018 - Interactive robot helps older people exercise and detects underlying health problems
October 16, 2018 - What you need to know about autism spectrum disorder
October 16, 2018 - Antidepressants can be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease
October 16, 2018 - Study uncovers important role of PRMT1 in dilated cardiomyopathy
October 16, 2018 - Nutritional quality of breakfast linked to cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors in children
October 16, 2018 - Study uses novel approach to investigate genetic origins of mental illnesses
October 16, 2018 - Scientists develop dual anthrax-plague vaccine
October 16, 2018 - Poor Outcomes for Hispanic Infants With Congenital Heart Dz
October 16, 2018 - Global study finds youngest in class more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD
October 16, 2018 - Researchers sequence two selfish genes in the fungus Neurospora intermedia
October 16, 2018 - Survey results highlight the need for better communication between patients and HCPs about bacterial vaginosis
October 16, 2018 - Researchers develop fibrin-targeting immunotherapy to protect against neurodegeneration
October 16, 2018 - Researchers create open access database on healthy immunity
October 16, 2018 - Rice University chemist wins big award to study small surfaces
October 16, 2018 - Study finds 43% drop in stroke rate
October 16, 2018 - Researchers identify basic relationships of cell cycle and cellular senescence in the placenta
October 16, 2018 - UA professor receives NSF grant to develop antifouling materials for medical implants
October 16, 2018 - Obesity Doubles Odds for Colon Cancer in Younger Women
October 16, 2018 - Adults with ADHD not constrained in creativity
October 16, 2018 - Raising visibility for people and students with chronic illness and disability
October 16, 2018 - Allele awarded NIH grant to develop nanoantibody therapies for treatment of sepsis
October 16, 2018 - Only 59% of young adults undergoing surgery are fluid responsive
October 1918 marks the centenary of Spanish Flu that claimed more lives than World War I

October 1918 marks the centenary of Spanish Flu that claimed more lives than World War I

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

October 1918 marks the centenary of the pandemic that claimed more lives than World War One

JUST as the cataclysmic conflict of the Great War was in its death throes, a new killer emerged that would, on a global scale, be even more lethal – the Spanish Flu pandemic, which was at its most virulent in October and November 1918.

It claimed the lives of up to 50 million worldwide and was responsible for an estimated 150,000 deaths in Britain. The country had one of the world’s most highly developed healthcare systems, but central government and local authorities failed to take meaningful action to halt the spread of the disease.

“The Government didn’t want people to panic, so they tried to keep it quiet,” said Barry Doyle, who is Professor of Health History at the University of Huddersfield. He has been researching the pandemic and Britain’s response, with some of his findings relayed in a blog for the Wellcome Library.

It is titled Snuffing potash to ward off flu, a reference to one of the more eccentric responses to the flu outbreak.

“The only thing the authorities could do was publish advice and it varied from quite useful to completely odd,” said Professor Doyle. “For example, there was a suggestion that permanganate of potash, salt and water could either be gargled or snuffed up the nostrils two or three times a day!

“Most of the advice was don’t go to crowded places, wrap up warmly, stay indoors, go to bed and wait till the flu passes. But the problem was that adults had work to go to, plus commitments to children and at the beginning of the pandemic there was still a war on, so there was a lot of pressure on people to get to work, especially in industrial areas. Sheffield had one of the highest mortality rates because it was a munitions town,” said Professor Doyle.

One upshot of this was that the mortality rate among healthy adults was disproportionately high and older people were less affected.

“The elderly did what they were supposed to do and stayed in bed, whereas younger people got up and went to work or tried to shake it off and then very quickly got septic pneumonia and died within three or four days.”

Spanish Flu death toll

Infectious disease wards in hospitals could not admit patients because so many nurses were down with flu -and there was a shortage of nursing and medical staff anyway, because of the war, said Professor Doyle, who added that in some households there might have been three or four deaths, but bodies had to remain there because there were no fit gravediggers and coffin makers.

Although Britain had one of the best healthcare systems in 1918, it was controlled by local authorities and voluntary organizations, meaning that there was little that central government could do – apart from issuing an order that cinemas should be evacuated and ventilated every three hours – but the response was no better in any other country, said Professor Doyle.

The pandemic was one of the deadliest outbreaks in all history and it spread throughout the world, whether or not countries had been embroiled in the Great War.

There has been extensive research and debate over how and where the pandemic originated, although the first recorded cases seem to have been in a remote part of Kansas, in the USA, during the early part of 1918. The global outbreak was eventually dubbed “Spanish” flu because Spain was a non-combatant in the Great War.

“This meant that the Spanish were talking about this epidemic, whereas the British, French and American Press were trying to keep it quiet,” said Professor Doyle.

Source:

https://www.hud.ac.uk/news/2018/september/spanish-flu-centenary/

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles