General, Research, Technology

The largest pandemic in human history. And no, it's not a coronavirus

You are deeply mistaken if you think thatthe coronavirus that has hit the world is the worst infection that could have happened to humanity in its recent history. In 1918, a flu strain known to the world as the Spanish flu caused a global pandemic that spread like a medieval bubonic plague, killing everything in its path. Although estimates of the exact number of deaths caused by the disease vary, it is believed that the Spaniard hit almost a third of the world's population. Can the coronavirus so discussed these days take on a similar rampant scale?

As with coronavirus, Europeans were forced to wear masks to avoid infection.

Does coronavirus look like spanish flu?

Life-threatening outbreakmore than 50 million people around the world, began in 1918, in the last months of the First World War. Although the disease was nicknamed Spanish Flu at the time, it is highly unlikely that the virus originated in Spain. The main reason for the appearance and spread of the virus, scientists call the war, responsible for the dirt and dampness that surrounded the soldiers throughout the entire period of hostilities, writes livescience.com. Having spread quickly through the cities, the virus most often affected young people aged 20 to 30 years old who had not previously had any significant health problems.

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In 2014, a new theory about the origin of the virussuggested that he first appeared in China. According to records, Spanish flu may be associated with Chinese workers who came to work in Europe from remote areas of rural China. After spending six days in sealed railway containers on their way to the countries of the Old World, more than 3,000 thousand people completed their journey in medical quarantine. By the time workers arrived in northern France in early 1918, many were sick, and hundreds were soon dying.

Spanish flu causes over 50 million deaths

When the virus reached the country in whose honor it wasnamed later, the infection almost instantly affected about half of the population of Spain, even infecting the local king Alfonso XIII along with leading politicians. The panic that gripped their country caused a shortage of medical supplies and services, and the virus itself was associated with strong winds in Spain, which allegedly spread microbial dust.

What were the symptoms of the “Spanish woman”?

Symptoms of Spanish Flu Raging in Europeat the beginning of the twentieth century, they were very similar to those that coronavirus infection has today. So, the initial symptoms of the disease included headache, persistent fatigue, dry cough, as well as loss of appetite and stomach problems. If untreated, the disease could affect the respiratory system, causing pneumonia.

By the way, if you still do not know what is the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic, then this article can help you figure it out.

By the summer of 1918, the virus had spread rapidly andto other countries of continental Europe, affecting, in addition to Spain, also Austria, Germany, Hungary and France. By August 1918, the epidemic quickly turned into a pandemic, spreading all over the world.

The symptoms of Spanish flu were very similar to the signs of today's coronavirus infection.

When, by September 1918, the flu got to the United Statesthrough Boston Harbor, local doctors were not ready to face a dangerous virus, advising their patients to avoid crowded places and drink wine or beef broth as a medicine. Sometimes the situation got ridiculous, and even ... aspirin was accused of causing an infection.

In truth, the situation with aspirin has not changed much since then. The fact that scientists are sure that acetylsalicylic acid can be harmful to health, you can read here.

The methods of treatment of the “Spanish woman” were marked by the creation ofthe so-called forminthes - tablets made in the walls of one of the British companies that produce vitamins. Manufacturers claimed that peppermint candies were “the best way to prevent infectious processes,” and that everyone, including children, should suck four to five of these pills a day until they feel better.

The lack of sound treatment methods has led tothe fact that the number of deaths from the Spanish flu began to decrease only in the spring of 1919. After striking more than 500 million people around the world, the Spaniard managed to repeat what happened during the epidemic of bubonic plague in medieval Europe. But has much changed since then?

By the way, even before the spread of coronavirus, we already wrote about what would happen if a deadly virus pandemic flares up these days.