The story of the 1918 flu pandemic. September 1918: Camp Devins, Massachusetts. The bandage on the autopsy table has turned blue. Dr. William H. Welch nodded to move on. His companions saw the bone and began to open the ribs. The man’s lungs are heavy. Welch and his companions entered as soon as it opened. There is so much fluid in the lungs that it travels to the trachea. The man, like everyone else, was drowning in his own body. Welch needs air. He opens the door and stumbles around the men on the floor.
The hospital no longer has enough beds. Six thousand men slept on a facility that meant 1,200, and they are turning blue. This is a terrible story. The scariest in history. In 1918 a new disease appeared. We do not yet know exactly how it began to affect humans, but in months it will spread to the planet, from the trenches on the western front, to the most remote villages on Earth. It affected the 1/3 of the world’s population and killed between 50 and 100 million people. Seen in this context, a low estimate would make it twice as deadly as World War I, while a higher estimate would mean more casualties than the combined costs of the two world wars. Between 3-6% of the world’s population died within 18 months.
It was the first modern plague to spread through the arteries of shipping, railroads, and industrial warfare, twisting its interconnected world, yet it was the first epidemic of the scientific age, where doctors, to some extent, understood They could have seen what was happening and stood up against the infection, even though they lacked the tools to prevent it. So in 1918, when researchers didn’t really see the virus, they knew it was necessary. Little did they know that sterile microscopes could tell that the flu was by no means alive. The man understands this.
only a bunch of unstable genetic material had a cell, it forced him to make billions of copies, and with it infected every cell, a minority of these new viruses in some more infectious disease Changed A more deadly microorganism that, through random natural selection, gradually improved in catching and killing each host. In the aftermath of this, it turned into a world war, tongues became extinct, and the sense of incomprehensibility that modern medicine began to evoke shattered, and when the nightmares were over, the world did whatever Even when a person wakes up from a dream:
he forgot! But forgetting is something we can’t afford because there is still a devastating virus in the world in 1918. It is still changing, and it will return. Yet, despite its effects, we still do not know where the epidemic originated, but there are theories! Canada, 1917. Trains run in the plains. Military guards have been instructed to keep civilians away from the engine. If they see what’s inside, there could be chaos.
The cars, designed for cattle, include young men from the Chinese Labor Corps. A group of political republics, until recently, the young, fragile Republic of China remained neutral in World War I. Many foreign countries have territories within their borders, and engaging in conflict threatens to turn their homeland into a battlefield. But neutrality was not feasible. Japan, an ally, used the war as an excuse to move troops into Chinese territory and demand control of the Chinese government.
To stifle political injection, China declared war on Germany. It is hoped that other allies will now save China from Japanese aggression and bring it to the post-war negotiating table. It may even reclaim its territory. But the elimination of neutrality l. , These Chinese fruits have been stopped from fighting. They will dig trenches, ammunition, and mines. So here, they were sent to Canada, boarded train cars, and traveled overseas on a military ship in Halifax. But there is more to them. A respiratory disease that devastated northern China last year. Winter sickness is so severe that some sufferers take blood on milk and turn blue. First, one recruitment begins with a cough, then another.
One by one they get sick with headaches and colds. Trapped in cattle cars, nowhere to run. Do not isolate the sick anywhere. He begs the guards to leave and seek medical help, but because of the anti-Chinese sentiment in Canada, the guards have been ordered to keep the passengers secret. By the time they reach Halifax, 3,000 have been quarantined. The doctors give the patient nothing but castor oil for sore throats and the rest of the recruits are loaded onto French ships. Those men are not sick … yet. But there are conflicting days before flu sufferers show symptoms, meaning the British Empire has just transmitted epidemics to paralysis. If so, it was the flu, because another appearance is going to happen in unusual places.
March 4, 1918. Camp Funston, Kansas. Like every US military base, Camp Feinston is crowded. At Feinstein, the country’s second-largest training center, 56,000 men live in barracks and tents, each waiting to be sent on duty in the United States or France. When war-mongering diseases are always on the rise, so when a private, not a single kick is missed, it is surprising to report a sick call with the flu. As of noon, 107 other troops had joined. In three weeks it will be more than 1,100. Dangerous, of course, but it’s time for war. Camps spread. Even when 20 patients develop pneumonia and 38 dies, doctors do not see anything unusual, but they are missing out on an important part of the puzzle.
A month ago, 300 miles away, a lone doctor in Haskell County, Kansas, saw dozens of his strongest patients catching the flu. It’s fast-paced and the high mortality rate puts him at such risk that he contacted the Public Health Service and published a warning in the National Health Journal, but no one heard! The reasonable page of this article was extraordinarily busy this February, but so were the shocking news of death and illness. The last time Haskell County soldiers left for a boot camp or home before deployment. All left for Camp Feinstein, and from there to France. Two weeks after the first case in Feinstein, 10% of recruits were reporting illness in two camps in Georgia.
By the end of the month, 24 of the 36 largest US military bases had cases in 30 major cities. No one has seen it yet. Army Medical Department, Washington, DC Dr. William H. Welch was diagnosing an epidemic. Welch, one of the country’s most famous physicians, brought American medicine into the modern era. He helped find the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, popularized the use of microscopes, and set up the country’s first dedicated medical laboratory, the Rockefeller Institute.
His work helped the United States transform the country’s doctors into a scientific medical titan, competing with the Pasteur Institute in France and the Koch Institute in Berlin. Because of this, the United States entered the age of the microscope and the vaccine, a bright world where doctors could look at diseases and kill them. Vaccines for psoriasis, rabies, anthrax, diphtheria, and meningitis have been introduced in the last few decades.
Researchers at the Rockefeller Institute were taking the first step towards organ contact and organ transplants. Some optimists have even predicted the future without the communication disease! And America needed this scientific power more than ever! Even before the war, Welch gave a message to an Army Surgeon General: When mobilized, you will have an epidemic! You will need to hire the best doctors and microbiologists. You will need researchers, train cars as mobile research laboratories, stocks of vaccines and antitoxins, anything to be ready. When the war broke out, the Surgeon General did not bother to recruit Welch and his researchers. He has just joined the Rockefeller Institute.
And that was exactly what Welch feared. He could see it moving from camp to camp on the map, and about 6,000 people had already died. He sent researchers to fight the spread of the disease and was the real killer in most epidemics to combat secondary cases of pneumonia. They all warned the army that this would happen if they crowded the camps, but no one listened! Welch sent an experimental vaccine that tested a form of bacterial pneumonia as well as a serum that halved the mortality rate. Test results looked good, if not 100% effective. It was a successful response. But there was a problem. Because Welch was fighting the disease, it wasn’t the flu, it was measles.
He may have seen the news of the spread of influenza, but the flu pandemic was seasonal, which was expected. Doctors were not required to report cases to the Public Health Service, so the risk of measles outbreaks seemed very serious, especially among recruits as well as in training camps and groups stationed in France. With 36,000 doctors. As Welch battled measles, the affected American soldiers boarded ships. They stood on hold until each Converse suit liner was twice the usual load of passengers. He said goodbye to his family and loved ones on the shore pulled them out of the dock and headed for Europe. It was now in the bloodstream. Not just in men, but in the world.