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The 1918 flu pandemic (commonly referred to as the Spanish flu) was an influenza pandemic that spread to nearly every part of the world. It was caused by an unusually virulent and deadly Influenza A virus strain of subtype H1N1. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify the geographic origin of the virus. Most of its victims were healthy young adults, in contrast to most influenza outbreaks which predominantly affect juvenile, elderly, or otherwise weakened patients. The pandemic lasted from March 1918 to June 1920, spreading even to the Arctic and remote Pacific islands. It is estimated that anywhere from 20 to 100 million people were killed worldwide, or the approximate equivalent of one third of the population of Europe, more than double the number killed in World War I. This extraordinary toll resulted from the extremely high illness rate of up to 50% and the extreme severity of the symptoms, suspected to be caused by cytokine storms. The pandemic is estimated to have affected up to one billion people: half the world's population at the time.[
Some scholars have theorized that the flu probably originated in the Far East. While historian Alfred Crosby observed that the flu seems to have originated in Kansas, the political scientist Andrew Price-Smith has published data from the Austrian archives suggesting that the influenza had earlier origins, beginning in Austria during the Spring of 1917. Popular writer John Barry echoed Crosby in proposing that Haskell County, Kansas was the location of the first outbreak of flu. In the United States the disease was first observed at Fort Riley, Kansas, United States, on March 4, 1918, and Queens, New York, on March 11, 1918. In August 1918, a more virulent strain appeared simultaneously in Brest, France, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and in the U.S. at Boston, Massachusetts. The Allies of World War I came to call it the Spanish flu, primarily because the pandemic received greater press attention after it moved from France to Spain in November 1918. Spain was not involved in the war and had not imposed wartime censorship.
Scientists have used tissue samples from frozen victims to reproduce the virus for study. Given the strain's extreme virulence there has been controversy regarding the wisdom of such research. Among the conclusions of this research is that the virus kills via a cytokine storm (overreaction of the body's immune system) which explains its unusually severe nature and the concentrated age profile of its victims. The strong immune systems of young adults ravaged the body, whereas the weaker immune systems of children and middle-aged adults caused fewer deaths.
Researchers Reconstruct 1918 Pandemic Influenza Virus; Effort Designed to Advance Preparedness
Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have successfully reconstructed the influenza virus strain responsible for the 1918 pandemic, a project that greatly advances preparedness efforts for the next pandemic.
An estimated one third of the world's population (or ≈500 million persons) were infected and had clinically apparent illnesses during the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic. The disease was exceptionally severe. Case-fatality rates were >2.5%, compared to
The mainstream media is so controlled worldwide at present that you are not likely to find much difference between Mexican and outside-Mexico sources. I don't have time to find out what the most reliable Spanish language news sources are - if you could do that then I could narrow my search.
Scanning the front page of Eluniversal shows the same old stuff as in the Western...
-President Calderon gives his condolences to all those affected by the disease.
-The EU will not shut down the border with Mexico.
-Health Secretary confirms certain government services will shut down for five days
-Japanese governement asks its citizens to return home
-Bishops announce the cancellation of mass.
-Prisons restrict visitors access
-How to make a facemask
-Certain areas i.e. Ecatepec have imposed virtual martial law, whereas others are accusing the media and government of paranoia.
They are covering the story quite heavily. One thing I've noticed is that they seem to be saying the death toll is much lower than our media does. I haven't confirmeed this yet though...
Feel free to post that summary,
All the Best
One part of the answer is that the Spanish flu virus passed from birds to pigs and then to humans, a mode of transmission that is thought to produce the most dangerous strains of influenza viruses.
Darwyn Kobasa, a research scientist with the Public Health Agency of Canada, and lead author of the research, defended the decision to recreate one of the most dangerous viruses in history
Many influenza virologists remain nervous about creating and experimenting with a reconstructed 1918 Spanish flu virus, an extremely dangerous virus which disappeared from the world long ago
In 1918, an influenza pandemic started that became a global disaster ....There was a mild wave in the spring, but the very serious, lethal wave was in the autumn to the winter...
....researchers have identified a set of three genes that helped underpin the extraordinary virulence of the 1918 virus.
"Already it appears to more virulent than seasonal flu because it is killing younger people and it appears to have higher mortality than seasonal flu, so it doesn't make sense to treat this like seasonal flu."
Seasonal flu kills about 250,000 to 500,000 people annually with a fatality rate of less than 0.1 percent. A study published in Science on Monday estimated that the new H1N1 flu virus has a case fatality ratio of 0.4 percent based on confirmed and suspected deaths.
Many people suffering from swine influenza, even those who are severely ill, do not have fever, an odd feature of the new virus that could increase the difficulty of controlling the epidemic, said a leading American infectious-disease expert who examined cases in Mexico last week......
“It surprised me and my Mexican colleagues, because the textbooks say that in an influenza outbreak the predictive value of fever and cough is 90 percent,” Dr. Wenzel said.