Influenza: Scientific Knowledge

flu scienceo
Figure 1.--Science when the influenza epidemnic struck could not idntify the cause. Virology did not yet exist and viruses had notbyet been idntified. The result was that the response included procedures that began to be adopted in the medieval era. The boys here, for exmple, have camphor sachets.

The best scientists, doctors, and health officials in Europe and America could not identify the disease patogens. They were stunned that aisease could striking so fast and with such lethality. Some of the victims died within hours of the initial symptoms. Others lingered on for a few days. The cause of death was their lungs filled with fluid and they suffocated. With out an understanding of the pathology, there was no way to treat or control the disease. Reserachers attempting to study the outbreak were baffekled by the pervasiveness of the dsease. It spread in both urban and rural areas, even reaching the remotest areas of Alaska. And it affected young adults, the healtiest portion of the populstion. In factvthey were one of thev popultion groups most ffected in addition to the elderly and children. The flu afflicted more than 25 percent of the American population. Incredably in only one year, the life expectancy in the United States was reduced by 12 years. All of this stunded researchers. Vural innoculation began before the agents involved were known (19th century). Jonas Salk and Thomas Francis developed the first vaccine against flu viruses. It was used protect the U.S. military forces during World War II (1938). The first actual virus discovered was the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). Wendell Meredith Stanley was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1946).


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Created: 6:37 AM 10/29/2018
Last updated: 6:37 AM 10/29/2018