WWI influenza disease

Essay by DreamingAngel411High School, 11th gradeA, March 2004

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During the year of 1918, World War I, accompanied by the infamous influenza epidemic, left an unforgettable scar on the world. A broadcast on PBS, presented by David McCullough, proved that WWI aided the spread of influenza. There were various things that helped spread the influenza, but only a few were significant. The probable origin of the influenza, Ft. Riley Kansas, infected soldiers readying for the war. The constant traveling of military troops across the world spread the influenza over vast regions. Lastly the American war effort made thousands of people come together, which perceptibly spread the influenza throughout America. The impact of this influenza was so great that it killed millions of people in several months.

The most evident place where the influenza was 'born' was in Ft. Riley, Kansas. On March 11, 1918, some burning manure gave off a yellow haze at Ft. Riley. The haze presumably made the soldiers sick.

Two days after the manure had been burned the soldiers stared showing up to the nurse with complaints of a fever, sore throat, and a headache. By the end of the day, 500 soldiers had this sickness. Eventually 48 soldiers died from this illness, which was mistakenly classified as pneumonia. Soon after, Dr. Alfred Crosby correctly identified the 'pneumonia' as influenza. The only problem was that this new influenza was unlike the previous one in several ways. This new influenza "put people in bed", "like they were hit with a two-by-four". It was essentially a really bad cold that evolved into pneumonia. It "turned people black and blue then killed them". Victor Vaghon also discovered that it did not target the weak, old, and very young anymore like it used to; this flu attacked people in their "prime", from the ages of 21-29. The influenza...