Spanish Flu: Cause and Effect

One of the most aggressive types of influenza viruses caused Spanish flu. It differed from other infections by its ability to destroy human organs in no time, and the post-war world was not ready for such an epidemic. In the case of Spanish flu, there were several reasons why it spread all over the planet and could not be stopped before humankind lost millions of lives of both military and civilian people.

The outbreak of Spanish flu was initially caused by unsanitary conditions of war. Despite its name, this epidemic was not restricted to Spain (Roser). The improvised medications could not help the soldiers, and the situation started to worsen (Martini et al., 64). Jordan claims that the movement of troops spread the virus throughout the European countries and then the whole world. The reason why it could not be overcome and prevented from spreading lies in the lack of knowledge of doctors in the past and, therefore, the lack of vaccines. Quarantine was the only available measure while dealing with the new virus.

According to Molgaard, this situation led to an understanding of what dangers lie in the absence of proper medical practices for overcoming epidemics (35). Other scholars, including Schwartz, consider this case to be crucial for further vaccine development.

Spanish flu was the first global influenza epidemic in the history of humankind, and it is considered to be a clear example of what might happen when people have no control over viruses. It resulted in an increase in consciousness among medical specialists in terms of epidemic preventions and treatment. This experience also indicated the importance of cooperation of all countries in preventing epidemics from spreading.

Works Cited

Jordan, D. “The Deadliest Flu: The Complete Story of the Discovery and Reconstruction of the 1918 Pandemic Virus.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019. Web.

Martini, M et al. “The Spanish Influenza Pandemic: A Lesson from History 100 Years After 1918.” Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene, vol. 60, no. 1, 2019, pp. 64-67.

Molgaard, C. A. “Military Vital Statistics: The Spanish Flu and the First World War.” Significance, vol. 16, no. 4, 2019, pp. 32-37.

Roser, M. “The Spanish Flu (1918-20): The Global Impact of the Largest Influenza Pandemic in History.Our World in Data. 2020. Web.

Schwartz, J. L. “The Spanish Flu, Epidemics, and the Turn to Biomedical Responses.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 108, no. 11, 2018, pp. 1455-1458.