Why (and How) the Flu Still Kills. The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which claimed an estimated 50 million lives worldwide, stands as the most frequent point of comparison to the current coronavirus scourge. A century ago, health professionals faced an organism they didn't know a lot about. Why flu season is in the fall and winter. Svenn-Erik Mamelund, in International Encyclopedia of Public Health (Second Edition), 2017. In places like Alaska, the Spanish flu exacted a terrible toll. The Spanish Flu predominately killed young, healthy people rather than the elderly. Why Spanish flu was so fatal, especially to people in the prime of their lives, is what scientists are striving to understand, as TIME reported in the wake of Hong Kong’s 1997 avian flu … The same holds true now. Spanish flu has become synonymous with a viral apocalypse and, now, with the Covid-19 pandemic. But as population-wide immunity to any new variant of flu arises, the virus reacts by changing in large and small ways that make it more difficult for antibodies to recognize it. Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1914, Morley was a girl when the so-called Spanish flu killed millions around the world in 1918-1920, when no vaccines were available. The new coronavirus has so far hit older people hardest, but young people are still vulnerable. And that's thanks to a protective gel-like coating that surrounds the flu virus while it's in the air. For nearly a century, then, the immune system has been engaged in a complicated pas de deux with the 1918 influenza virus and its progeny, say the NIAID authors. The 1918 H1N1 flu pandemic, sometimes referred to as the “Spanish flu,” killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, including an estimated 675,000 people in the United States. Is the Spanish flu still around? The flu tends to spike in the fall and winter for a major reason: the temperature. A high fever, ... the latest data on this year’s flu vaccine shows it’s around 17 percent effective, though that may change before the flu season ends. This false equivalence depends largely on a spurious statistic that should never have been published. “The whole of Brazil caught it. The pandemic-level flu turned into the seasonal flu that we’re still fighting today. Since most people first heard about the flu from its attack on Spain, it was named the Spanish flu. As a consequence, when faced 28 years later with Spanish flu viruses they mounted the wrong response (ie, to Russian flu rather than to the real threat). The same flu virus that caused the 1918 pandemic is back this year H1N1, the same strain that killed over 50 million in the late 1910s, is back. Nor is the example of 1918 unique. The flu … For the 1918 flu, healthier, younger people were most at risk. By the end of July 1918, after infecting people all around the world, this first wave of the Spanish flu appeared to be dying out. But while some communities suffered many deaths, others nearby escaped the carnage. Researchers found that although there were more deaths per 100,000 people during the peak of the Spanish flu, the toll was still comparable to deaths during the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, some of the lessons from that pandemic are still relevant today -- and could help prevent an … The Spanish Influenza of 1918–20. In 2017, Bill Gates warned that if a pandemic virus like the Spanish flu of 1918 that killed 50 million people hit the world today, it could still finish off "more than 30 million people in less than a year. The claim: The 1918 flu pandemic became known as the “Spanish flu” because wartime censors minimized reports of the illness while the Spanish press did not. The Spanish flu then spread to Russia , India , China , and Africa . The 2020 coronavirus and 1918 influenza are two highly contagious respiratory diseases that spread around the world in months. The Spanish flu, unusually for an influenza, was less lethal for older people, perhaps because a similar 1830s flu outbreak granted older people still alive in 1918 some limited immunity. The 1918 flu killed more than 50 million people. Spanish Flu: Despite its name, the Spanish flu was a global pandemic that affected the United States, Europe, Africa, Australia, and South Asia. Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1914, Morley was a girl when the so-called Spanish flu killed millions around the world in 1918-1920. COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus, not influenza, so scientists are still learning how it behaves. The 2020 coronavirus and 1918 Spanish influenza pandemics share many similarities, but they also diverge on one key point. The 1918 flu, known as the Spanish flu after the country’s press were among the first to report on it, killed between 50 and 100 million people around the world. Descendants of the 1918 influenza virus still circulate today, and current seasonal influenza vaccines provide some protection against the 1918 virus. At 106, early vaccine recipient still remembers Spanish flu The 1918 flu, which was known as the Spanish flu, didn't actually originate in Spain. 1,2,3,4 An unusual characteristic of this virus was the high death rate it caused among healthy adults 15 to 34 years of age. It is dangerous to draw too many parallels between coronavirus and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, that killed at least 50 million people around the world. Experts point out the similarities and the differences of the Spanish pandemic, named because Spain was the first country to report the disease, according to the Post, and today’s coronavirus pandemic. 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