Far More Dangerous Than Coronavirus Pandemic: A hundred years ago, around two crore people were killed during the First World War.
The consequences of that war were not yet overcrowded by a terrible crisis that surrounded the world, and this was the outbreak of the flu.
The epidemic, known as ‘Spanish Flu,‘ began in small and crowded military training camps on the Western Front. The disease spread and increased rapidly due to the filth in these camps and especially in the mines near the border of France.
The war ended in November 1918, but the virus spread to other areas with infected soldiers returning home. Many people died due to this disease. Between five and ten million people are believed to have died from the Spanish flu.
Even after that, many epidemics spread in the world, but there is no other epidemic so deadly and widespread. Right now, when the outbreak of COVID-19 is in the news in the world, we are looking at the situation caused by the Spanish flu spread 100 years ago, so that you can know what lessons we learned from that epidemic.
Pneumonia proved to be the deadliest.
Many people who have died from COVID-19 have become victims of a type of pneumonia that dominates the immune system of the body, which is weak in fighting the virus.
This is a similarity between COVID-19 and Spanish flu, although the death rate of people infected with COVID-19 is much lower than the Spanish flu.
So far, most of the people who die from this disease are old people or people whose immunity was weak. In such people, infection also happened quickly, and he got pneumonia, which directly affected his lung capacity.
Some areas survived the outbreak.
When the Spanish flu spread, air travel in the world was just beginning. This was a big reason that other countries of the world remained untouched by the outbreak of disease at that time.
At that time, the disease spread only through passengers traveling on rail and boats, so it spread at a slow pace. In many places, it took several months and years for the Spanish flu to reach, while in some areas, the disease almost did not reach—for example, Alaska.
The reason for this was some basic methods adopted by the people there to keep the disease away. The disease did not spread in the Bristol Bay area of Alaska. The people there closed schools, stopped the gathering of crowds in public places, and closed the roads leading from the main road to the village.
Now to prevent the coronavirus, similar but modern methods are being adopted in China and Italy where the movement of people and their crowded places are being controlled.
Different people – different viruses
The doctor describes the Spanish flu as ‘the greatest massacre in history.‘ It is not only that such a large number of people were killed by it, but also that many of the victims were young and completely healthy.
Healthy people generally have immunity to deal with the flu. But this form of flu used to attack so fast that the resistance of the body would be destroyed.
This causes a reaction called a cytokine storm, and the lungs are filled with water, which spreads the disease to others. At that time, the old people fell prey to it because they had probably suffered from another form of the flu spread in 1830.
The public health system developed a lot in the developed countries of the world because of the flu because governments and scientists realized that epidemics would spread very fast.
The danger of the coronavirus is more to the old and already ill people. Although the death rate from this disease is low, it is the highest among people over the age of 80.
Public health’s most effective resistance
Spanish flu spread to the world when it was still recovering from the First War, resources were put into military operations at that time, and the concept of a public health system was not much developed.
In many places, only middle and upper-class people had the ability to get treatment from doctors.
Most of those who died of Spanish flu lived in slums or poor areas of cities where there was a lack of cleanliness and nutritious food.
In urban areas, treating people case by case will not be enough to deal with the epidemic. Governments will have to put resources at the war level, keep the infected people separate, and in that also the children will have to be kept separately from the severely infected people.
Along with this, people will have to control their travel so that the disease ends itself. The public health measures being taken today to deal with the coronavirus are the result of lessons learned from the effects of the Spanish flu.
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