The flu also called influenza, has been a common disease since the 1918 “Spanish flu” pandemic, the 1957 “Asian flu”, and in 1968 “Hong Kong flu”. All of these were tragic, especially the Spanish flu. The European Scientific Working group of Influenza states that “Of all pandemics, the one that began in 1918 is generally regarded as the most deadly disease event in human history.
At least 40 million and likely closer to 100 million deaths worldwide have been attributed to the virus, most of them occurring in the 16-week period between September and December 1918.”
So, many were dying because of the flu between the 1900’s and the 1970’s, but what are the symptoms of the flu now and how do people treat it?
Influenza is caused by viruses that are spread through the air by sneezes and coughs, or by touching a surface a person with the flu has touched therefore transmitting the virus to your mouth or nose.
Some signs follow influenza like dry coughs, headache, or loss of appetite.
Getting vaccinated can help the chances of not getting the flu and can help you recover faster. In children, there may be nausea and vomiting, but these are not common in adults. Usually, the virus is spread through the air from coughs and sneezes. It can also be spread by touching surfaces contaminated by the virus and then touching the mouth or eyes. A person may be infectious to others both before and during the time they are showing symptoms.
The flu is very common, but, to most people, it’s as mysterious as spells of primitive magic. It isn’t. Flu season is upon us and it is up to everyone to keep their bodies healthy and flu-free. Scientists have learned much about it and they are bound to learn more. The possibility for their control seems brighter than it has ever been.
As Theobald Smith, a pioneering epidemiologist and pathologist that was alive during the Spanish flu, once said, “Among other aims adopted for the post-war period might well be included freedom from respiratory disease.”