Monday, March 19, 2012
Flu Day: Spanish Flu
You think the flu season is bad this year? Well, it's nothing compared to the Spanish Flu of 1918. That pandemic claimed 50 million to 100 million people - the single deadliest disaster in human history.
Strangely, this killer claimed more young and healthy people because their immune systems were strong and when they kicked into overdrive, it killed them. Ten to 20 percent of those with that flu strain died from it.
In fact, if you go to older cemeteries, you can often find simple wood crosses. We have several here in Arizona that have whole sections where itinerant workers who died of the Spanish Flu were buried in mass grave areas. The majority of deaths were from bacterial pneumonia, a secondary infection caused by influenza, but the virus also killed people directly, causing massive hemorrhages and edema in the lung.
Just keep it in perspective. The usual flu strain, only 0.1% die. So, it's not that miserable for a healthy person, just damn debilitating.
at 9:30 AM