America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918, 2nd by Crosby

By Crosby

Among August 1918 and March 1919 the Spanish influenza unfold all over the world, claiming over 25 million lives, extra humans than these perished within the battling of the 1st global struggle. It proved deadly to not less than a half-million american citizens. but, the Spanish flu pandemic is essentially forgotten at the present time. during this brilliant narrative, Alfred W. Crosby recounts the process the pandemic through the panic-stricken months of 1918 and 1919, measures its impression on American society, and probes the curious lack of nationwide reminiscence of this cataclysmic occasion. In a brand new variation, with a brand new preface discussing the hot outbreaks of ailments, together with the Asian flu and the SARS epidemic, America's Forgotten Pandemic continues to be either prescient and proper. Alfred W. Crosby is a Professor Emeritus in American reports, historical past and Geography on the college of Texas at Austin, the place he taught for over two decades. His prior books comprise Throwing hearth (Cambrige, 2002), the degree of fact (Cambridge, 1997) and Ecological Imperialism (cambridge, 1986). Ecological Imperialism used to be the winner of the 1986 Phi Beta Kappa publication prize. The degree of fact was once selected by way of the l. a. occasions as one of many a hundred most vital books of 1997.

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Influenza and its complications still kill the young and the old more readily than those in the prime years of life. But when a curve is plotted for the incidence of flu and pneumonia deaths according to age for one of the United States cities that had a higher than normal number of such deaths in the spring of 1918 (for example, Louisville, Kentucky, for April), the resulting curve is not a u, but a crude w with its highest point in the middle, where both science and common sense declare it should not be.

The onset of illness for the individual patient was very sudden, the passage from apparent health to near prostration taking only one to two hours. Fevers ran from 101 to 105 , and the sick complained of general weakness and severe aches in their muscles, joints, backs, and heads. "6 For the majority, these symptoms continued for several days and recovery followed. But the other 5 or 10 percent developed a severe and massive pneumonia. As of September 11, 95 cases of influenzal 4 0 / EPIDEMIC AND PEACE, 1918 pneumonia had been or were being treated at Chelsea Naval Hospital.

M. "37 The United States was not merely unprepared to control the spread of influenza. It had carefully, if unintentionally, prepared itself to expedite the cultivation and dissemination of just precisely 3 2 / EPIDEMIC AND PEACE, 1918 the influenza virus of fall 1918. Among adult males, those who were most susceptible to Spanish influenza were men of military age. 5 million American adults who were most perfectly qualified to cultivate the most dangerously virulent strain of influenza virus in history and its jackal bacteria were living cheek-by-jowl in a small number of military camps all over the nation, and large numbers of them were constantly traveling back and forth between these camps.

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