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.


  1. But this year 90% of us wanted to die!

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  3. So true. I always get my flu shot. People complain that the flu shot makes them sick, but the truth is, it makes your immune system kick in and that can make you feel puny for a day or two, but most get it in the middle of cold season and end up catching something and getting the flu shot and forever recall the two coinciding. The flu is so much more dangerous than getting a flu shot. I always ended up with bronchitis when I got the flu and my son even got meningitis, so I take it seriously.

  4. I refuse to get a flu shot. I think it is bad on two levels. First, I suspect that there is some widespread conspiracy behind this. I do not trust what the government or the drug companies are saying about the flu shot. I think there is something that they are not telling us about it. When has the US government ever cared so much about preventing illness, and one as benevolent as the common flu at that. If they cared so much why have they not legalized Pot, given us the cure for Cancer, or legalized one of a hundred other medicines that would eliminate countless diseases and illnesses?? I do not trust what they are telling us about this Flu Shot and it disturbs me greatly that they are spending so much money and effort to get people injected. I am sure there is some other ulterior motive here. Something isn't right. Secondly, people have gone hundreds of years without flu shots and are doing just fine. I grew up without one and I'm still here. What's so bad about getting sick once or twice a year and spending a couple of days in bed? I, for one, actually have fond memories of those times. Spending a few days a year in bed with the flu is good for the body I think, and you shouldn't mess with that. Your body needs to have things to fight off once in a while to keep your immune system in strong fighting mode, so to speak. Without any battles to fight it will get lazy and weak. And that can leave you exposed to bigger and more devestating threats. Just say NO to flu shots!

  5. Although I have strong opinions of my own about the Flu Shot, I understand that the Flu can be more problematic for some people, like yourself, Autumn. I am in no way implying that everyone should feel as I do about the matter. If you feel you need to get the shot because of how badly the flu affects you, or your son, than by all means get it :)

    1. Yes, I know some people are scared about the prospect of inoculations, but I highly support it myself. The amount of sickness, lost work, and deaths is significant enough that there is no reason to have the flu.

  6. This epidemic was truly astounding as it often killed off the young and healthy. I researched the epidemic in Columbus, GA for a paper I wrote. The first victim was a naval cadet from Columbus who died as he was travelling back to Annapolis to the Naval Academy. He boarded the train healthy and died en route.

    This epidemic is the start of a number of ghost stories as well.