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Great Influenza Book Report

In: English and Literature

Submitted By cameronbaranek
Words 761
Pages 4
Mrs. Schweitzer
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 the host (virus) and the body taking harsh action to excrete the “invader”. The Great Influenza of 1918 the “Spanish Flu” started in birds as in all influenzas. The virus mutated through other animals and then had the right genes to make human to human contact possible with high transferability. The virus is so gruesome and causes your body to react so violently that it tears the tissue in the lungs, and basically causes you to drown in your own blood. Victims would even turn dark blue because of lack of oxygen because of restricted breathing caused by blood in lungs and air passageways. Medical officials could not even identify some of the victims as white or negro, because of discoloration of skin. Victims would also turn extremely white, and have blood excrete from mouth and nasal passages. This caused mass turmoil and death, people were buried in mass graves and over 50 million died of this flu in a 2 year period, and brought great awareness to disease and importance of health and hygiene.

William Henry Welch the most powerful individual in the history of American medicine and one of the most knowledgeable was worried of how vicious the Spanish flu is. The Spanish flu...

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