Erwc period 1
24 may 2013
The Great Influenza
John M Barry
In the early 1900’s medicine was making some steps closer into some great improvements for health and better understanding of the human body. Doctors with sufficient knowledge of the human body and cures for diseases and viruses were scarce. People were much more concerned with government and politics, than health and medicine, until one of the greatest and most grotesque lethal pandemics that’s struck the earth in human history. This pandemic the “Spanish Flu” spread so rapidly and had an extremely high mortality rate. This was caused by the close contact of humans and poor cleanliness and sanitation, and ...view middle of the document...
It couldn’t have come at a worst time, with over 30 million dead from the war, and eventually 50 million dead from the influenza. Panic spread among people and tore families apart. Many sailors came down with the influenza and had to be quarantined at docks.
The pandemic struck the world and infected 1/3 of earth’s human population, killing over 50 million humans. The world’s top doctors have never witnessed anything of this killing magnitude besides the bubonic plague of 1348 but the transmissibility is of nothing they’ve ever seen in their lifetime or of recorded history. People abruptly became aware of the importance of health, and need of medicine and cleanliness.
This influenza occurred at the latter point of “World War 1” coming at a vulnerable time for the world. Many people have already died due to the war, and many resources and money has already been consumed. So when the pandemic hit, it hit with a charge that left a great wound in the economy and health of the people not just in the U.S. but the world. People responded by taking more precautions in health and safety, and took radical response in the exterminating of animal populations.
People had little knowledge of germs and bacteria, and that there are...