100 Years Later: The Flu

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

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One hundred years have passed since the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 swept around the world, circumnavigating at least twice between 1918 and 1920, killing outright between 50 and 100 million human beings. The pandemic was so shattering, so pervasive that more accurate numbers of the dead cannot be calculated. Those who lived in developed countries like the United States fared little better than those in less developed nations — once the influenza struck, the victim either recovered after a week of unpleasant flu symptoms or died rapidly, sometimes within hours., with lungs filled with fluids and blood. Influenza, caused by a virus, usually kills the very young, the weak and the very old. But the 1918 Flu, sometimes called “the Spanish Flu”, seemed to preferentially kill young, strong, otherwise healthy men and women in their 20’s, a demographic that normally fared well with only mild symptoms in other flu seasons.

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The Human Costs of Epidemics are Going Down But the Economic Costs are Going Up

By Vanessa Candeias – Re-Blogged From World Economic Forum

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the deadliest epidemic in history – the 1918 Spanish Influenza outbreak, which killed around 50 million people.

More recently, several outbreaks with equally familiar names have made headlines: SARS, swine flu, MERS, Ebola, Zika, yellow fever, Lassa fever, cholera, drug resistant infections… the list could go on. In fact, every month the World Health Organization receives 5,000 early-warning disease signals from across the globe, around 300 of which need further investigation and of which 30 warrant more in-depth field studies to investigate their potential for causing epidemics.

A health worker stands by ready to ask incoming passengers to remove any head gears before temperature screenings at the International Airport in Hong Kong April 27, 2009. Asia, a continent that has battled deadly viruses such as the H5N1 bird flu and SARS in recent years, began taking steps over the weekend to ward off a new flu virus.   REUTERS/Vincent Yu/Pool   (CHINA POLITICS HEALTH IMAGES OF THE DAY) - GM1E54R15DW01

New 1918 Style Flu Pandemic Fear

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

This isn’t a climate article, it is about a real problem.

Back in 1918, the infamous flu pandemic killed an estimated 3-5% of the population of the time – 50-100 million people. The awful potential of a new 1918 style flu Pandemic to sweep the world and kill millions, perhaps billions, despite all our medical advances, makes every flicker of infectious ability for novel strains of flu newsworthy.

H1N1 Flu Virus.

H1N1 Flu Virus. By NIAID (H1N1 Flu Virus) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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