The flu epidemic. When it comes to the scale of the Spanish flu

Эпидемия гриппа. Когда дойдет до масштабов испанки

In Ukraine, the growing incidence of seasonal influenza

Ukrainians in recent days, all more common seasonal influenza – both children and adults. What are the conditions for a catastrophic pandemic?

In Ukraine, the growing incidence of flu among children and among adults. In Kiev for the last week sick with the flu for 14 percent more than in the past. Just nearly 11.5 thousand.

According to authorities, the intensity of the epidemic process is at a level typical for this time of year. As stated by the virologists, all epidemics are a continuation of the Spanish flu – the influenza pandemic that killed more people than weapons of the First world war in the same decade. Корреспондент.net tells details.


The Spaniard claimed tens of millions of lives

Spanish flu or the Spanish flu was probably the most massive pandemic of flu in human history in absolute terms as the number of infected and dead.

18 months in 1918-1919 around the world Spanish was infected with about 550 million people, or 29.5 percent of the population of the planet. Died approximately 50-100 million people.

There were four waves of the pandemic. It reached even the most distant Islands, until it finally weakened and subsided in the spring of 1920.

One hundred years ago the world was in chaos. The first world war lasted for several years. When in the summer of 1918 began the first wave of the flu, was thinking about something else. Everyone seemed to be nothing unusual about the cough and the temperature is not, writes Yle.

Particularly hard hit by the disease raged in the pow camps during the civil war. Emaciated prisoners were in General more susceptible to diseases.

The virus had many of the symptoms and complications of the disease. As now, the flu often may be accompanied by pneumonia caused by bacteria. Pneumonia was the most common cause of death.

The disease spread because people were going to markets and services. The virus quickly fell into distant places and rapidly it spread. Sometimes, because of the Spanish flu emptied entire villages and cities.


Three conditions for a repeat disaster

  • People should not be immune to the virus
  • Once infected, the virus must cause serious illness
  • The virus must be actively transferred from one person to another

Modern flu – a descendant of the Spanish flu

The Spanish flu was caused by virus subtype And H1N1. A derivative of this virus in 2009 caused the swine flu epidemic. Flu originally came from pigs began to spread all over the world. According to some estimates, killed 200 thousand people.

The epidemic prevented with vaccinations, but with complications caused by bacteria, fought with antibiotics.

Influenza a viruses have been found in hundreds of species of birds. Wild birds only spread the virus, for home it is deadly. In areas of close contact between people and birds, some types of HPV are contagious to humans.

The researchers have precise information about the genome of the first influenza A virus that caused the Spanish flu.

“It is important to know, how did the particular virus. Many features in the structure of the gene suggests that the Spanish flu was bird flu,” said Professor of Virology, University of Helsinki Kalle of Saksala.

Эпидемия гриппа. Когда дойдет до масштабов испанки

In the last century the world witnessed not only the Spanish flu pandemic, but the pandemic Asian flu in 1957 and Hong Kong flu pandemic in 1968.

However, they were not complete strangers for the person’s defense system because it was derived from the avian influenza and the immune system people were familiar with it.

Now scientists of particular concern are two subtypes of avian influenza A – H5N1 and H7N9. They cause infection in humans in the last five years, and the number of cases grows every year.

In the case of H5N1 and H7N9 in humans yet to have immunity and they are much more serious than the Spanish flu. But them you can become infected only from animals and not from other people. But in the future, H5N1 and H7N9 can mutate.

Particularly rapid changes can occur if a person infected with influenza A virus from another person, will pick up the virus of avian influenza A. the Viruses trapped in the same cell, can exchange genes.


Seasonal influenza remains a deadly

Seasonal influenza remains a cause of mortality worldwide. Despite the existence of a variety of antibiotics, people still die from complicated forms of pneumonia caused by bacteria.

Increased risk of developing severe disease or complications as a result of infection for the pregnant women, children under the age of 59 months, the elderly, people with chronic health conditions and people with weakened immune systems.

For seasonal influenza is characterized by the sudden emergence of high fever, cough (usually dry), headache, muscle pain and joint pain, severe malaise, sore throat and runny nose. The cough may be severe and last for two weeks or more.

Most people’s temperature is normal and the symptoms disappear within a week without any medical assistance. But influenza can cause severe illness and death.

The world health organization States that the most effective way to prevent the disease is vaccination. The most widely used in the world of injectable inactivated influenza vaccine.

Among healthy adults, influenza vaccine provides protection even if the circulating virus does not exactly match the vaccine virus, says who.

However, for older people vaccination against influenza may be less effective from the point of view of prevention of the disease, but attenuates the severity and decreases the likelihood of complications and death.


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According to the materials:

The new York times