Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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It is August 26th and two sailors come down with a blusish face and purple blisters. In six days eighty-five thousand case of influenza are recorded and in two months six-hundred thousand are dead. An unseen strand of the flu virus took forty-eight hours to kill its hosts. No other war, famine or disease has killed as many as twenty-one point six-four million in such a short period of time.

Influenza hit America by storm and blew people out of the water. It is unknown where it originated, however theories include, China and Kansas. It is thought to have migrated from birds to pigs, then infecting humans. It first showed its ugly face in Spain, where there it was called the "Gurippe," and eighty percent of the people concieved it. It then accompanied sailors from Eurpope to Massachusetes.

Once in America, one in four people contracted influenza and it killed five-hundred to six-hundred people a day.

Confusion resulted and no one knew how to deal with this deadly disease. Laws were passed including the restriction of drinking large amounts of whiskey. This caused prices to skyrocket to two dollars a bottle, and in 1918 this extremely expensive. Another falacy was rubbing onion paste on your body and walking around in the dead of night nude. People suggested to wear nead called mastes. And it was against the law to sneeze or cough.

The symptoms of influenza were a bluish colored face, purple blisters, fever, chills and being suceptable to pneumonia. Basically the victims of influenza drowed in mucas. While performing an autopsy, doctors discovered a white, pussy, foamy phlem filling the lungs of the victims. While still alive, the victims usffered from short, sharp, breaths barely allowing them to survive.

Influenza disapppeared with even less of a trace than when it came. Gone with the wind, like a flock flying South or a bunch of pigs squeeling, there was no more flu. Could it return? Could it be inserted in Anthrax for our senators to breathe in? These questions are still nagging int he minds of friends and families of the helpless victims regarding the forgotten plague!