At the end of June / early July of the 1918 war year, a pandemic known as the Spanish flu, which had already killed thousands abroad, also reached the German Empire. 25 to 50 million people have died worldwide, and the disease caused by the influenza virus A / H1N1 has caused more casualties than in World War I (about 17 million people died).
The effect was comparable to the 1348 plague. It was not possible to determine the exact number of deaths because statistics were not retained in many countries as a result of the turmoil of the war. Compared to other flu waves, this had the peculiarity that mainly 20-40 years old succumbed to it. Other influenza viruses, on the other hand, pose a particular risk to infants and the elderly, with mortality rates estimated to exceed 2.5%, compared to about 0.1% in previous influenza pandemics. Overall, about one-fifth of the world’s population has been infected.
This serious illness was named “Spanish flu” because of the first news from Spain, which was neutral during World War I. The country is subject to free censorship, and at the end of May 1918, more than 8 million inhabitants, including Alfonso XIII, were reported ill. In Madrid, one in three residents got the flu and public life stagnated.
However, other countries have suppressed such information. For strategic reasons, reports of illness on the front lines of the German Empire were not allowed. However, in the summer of 1918, a German newspaper wrote about a case of private influenza. To avoid panic, it became widespread that there was only one death for every 500 sick people. Occasionally, the disease was also called “lightning catarrh” or “Flanders fever.”
Effects and Results
Oxygen deficiency often resulted in a bluish-black discoloration of the skin. Most deaths were due to pneumonia as an additional complication. Due to the special proteins contained in the virus, the virus proliferated very rapidly, causing pneumonia. Some patients developed mild symptoms and recovered quickly, while others died of pneumonia with heavy bleeding. Comparing the COVID-19 in the present time, the virus also influences or somewhat spread easily on many things.
The fact that especially young adults had the Spanish flu was probably due to the fact that this age group had little contact with H1 flu at a young age, in contrast to older and younger people. .. Her immune system was primarily faced with H3N8 mutants and was not ready to fight the flu with the H1N1 protein. Most of the victims did not die from the flu itself. It only paved the way for bacterial infections, especially pneumonia. Overcoming illness often followed weeks of severe fatigue and fatigue. The general result was neurological dysfunction and depression.
In many countries, there was a post-epidemic epidemic until the 1920s, after which it occurred in Europe during the “normal” winter months. Researchers have concluded that the virus is directly derived from the avian influenza virus and has infected humans by mutation. Such an aggressive influenza virus has never occurred. At this present time, we still need to clean and disinfect our areas especially our homes, and the things we usually touch like our pets using a cleaning machine, see, to prevent such viruses.