Flu Pandemic

Spanish Flu

Introduction to Flu Pandemics

Flu pandemics are known to be among the most frequently occurring ones in the world. The previous three centuries have witnessed three flu pandemics each and a threat of another one looms over the world today. These usually occur at at irregular intervals and result in the death of millions of people.
The major reason for such recurrent pandemics is, that the influenza virus is constantly developing new strains by undergoing mutations. Thus, any immunity that a person may have acquired to a particular strain, does not prove to be effective against another. In a similar manner, vaccination against flu also proves to be difficult.
Spanish flu was a flu pandemic, that took place in the years 1918-20. It spread to almost all parts of the world and lead to the death of over 40 million individuals. Spanish flu got its name, as it received more attention of the media in that country, than in others. The main reason for this was, that Spain was not involved in the First World War and hence, its media did not face any censorship. The influenza and the Spanish flu pandemic had many peculiar characteristics. Let us have a look at some of them.

Characteristics and Spanish Flu Symptoms

Spread of Spanish Flu

25 % of the victims of Spanish flu were killed within the first 25 weeks. Researchers account the fast spread of this disease to the world war, as it involved the movement of troops across many parts of the globe. The H1N1 virus was also highly pathogenic in nature and thus, easily infected a number of people.
The disease even spread to the remotest parts of the globe like Alaska and the Arctic regions. India, Canada, USA, UK, France were among the countries, that suffered a significant amount of deaths due to this disease. However, the worst hit were the south African countries and Alaska, where entire towns were wiped out due to the disease.
This flu pandemic is supposed to be the worst one of all times, as it killed about 20 % of those who were infected with the disease, as compared to others that kill only about 0.1 %.
Till date, no other pandemic has killed as many individuals as the Spanish flu pandemic. Even diseases like AIDS have claimed victims at a much slower rate. Thus, it is apt that Spanish flu has been called the greatest medical holocaust in history.