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What can the Spanish epidemic in 1918 teach us during the era of coronavirus?

As number one news, Coronavirus continueshis journey around the world, creating around a serious excitement and anxiety in people. And although it is currently impossible to predict exactly what the world pandemic will end with, the experience of previous years can safely assume a possible COVID-19 ending. Oddly enough, but delving into the history of the spread of the world-famous “Spanish woman”, we can understand that the most massive flu pandemic in history has some common features with modern coronavirus infection. How, at first glance, how can two completely different viruses that flare up at different periods in the development of medicine have something in common? Let's try to figure it all out in this article.

Spanish flu killed around 50-100 million people

What is “spanish" like a coronavirus?

A modern COVID-19 flash may havemany options for the development of events, both positive and negative. If you use the experience of past years, you can understand that the occurrence of some negative events can be tried to prevent only by taking into account the experience of generations of the past. To do this, you can try to return to 1918, when the whole world swallowed the deadly flu virus, which went down in history under the name "Spaniard". In order to assess the magnitude of the pandemic, it’s enough to know that about 25 million people died in the first 25 weeks after the infection.

Severe post-war years, poor sanitation and poornutrition helped the virus spread to many countries and become global, but the flu virus, familiar to many of us as the H1N1 virus, turned out to be a real supervirus of the time. It is worth noting that now it is quite dangerous, becoming the culprit of the outbreak of “swine” flu in 2009.

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During the raging Spanish flu, noonly elderly and immunocompromised people, but also young and completely healthy. Almost lightning-fast death of a person occurred due to the fact that the lungs of the infected person were filled with liquid, as a result of which the person literally drowned without water. Fortunately for all of us, modern coronavirus does not cause such dire consequences.

Until now, few people know that Spanishinfluenza first appeared not in Spain at all, but in America in 1917. Like COVID-19, the Spaniard virus mutated and began to partially spread with the troops during the First World War, according to the portal In just a year of its existence, the virus managed to kill more people than even the war itself did.

The main mistake in the spread of the Spanish flu was the prolonged silence of the facts due to hostilities

In a war between European countries, the virusthe flu spread quickly enough, and since military censorship of that time could not allow the leak of information about the epidemic that began inside the country, the authorities were silent for a long time about the real situation. So, the death of a huge number of people could be prevented if the government would only notify the population about the outbreak of the disease immediately after its occurrence. Today, taking into account the mistakes of the past, the heads of almost all developed countries of the world have already actively joined in the fight against the spread of false information about the virus itself and the losses it brings, which cannot but affect the summing up of the final results on the number of cases.

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Timely reaction of the Chinese authorities from the cityWuhan was the first step in the fight against coronavirus. The introduction of self-isolation rules and a constant reminder of personal hygiene have also played a major role in containing a dangerous infection. Meanwhile, in 1918 everything was exactly the opposite: people, not knowing about the dangerous disease that was literally so close to them, went to all kinds of rallies, concerts and mass events in honor of the end of the war, where they got their “portion” of the virus.

All this ultimately led to the fact thatmedical facilities have ceased to cope with the ever-increasing flow of cases. Thus, entire villages and individual settlements completely died out due to the banal lack of information among the population about the existence of the virus and the lack of necessary medicines for treatment.

Photos from the time of the Spanish

If we talk about the similarities between the two pandemics,then the use of medical masks was and is one of the main requirements when people visit public places. It is worth noting that during the Spanish flu, people were forced to face not only the disease itself, but also its unpleasant social consequences. It is known, for example, that people without medical masks were denied access to any public transport previously accessible to them.

Fortunately for us, modern humanitynot only medical masks and thorough hand washing have long been known, but also all kinds of antiseptic agents and, most importantly, knowledge about the very existence of coronavirus. All of the above may be enough to at least try to prevent a person from developing complications, while at the same time preventing the further spread of the infection. But this already inspires hope.