The spanish flu and the policy failure

The Spanish flu and the policy failure

Seattler police with mouthguard, December 1918.

The epidemic a century ago could also spread so fast and strongly because it was not on warnings

Spanish flu stuck in the years 1918 to 1920 scattered 500 million at that time about two billion people in the world – and she was even more than other influenza waves: the treasures range from 25 to one hundred million deaths (cf. Influenza – The hunt for the forgotten killer virus goes into the next round). Alone in the USA from which it gives more informative statistics than many other countries, she gathered about 675.000 people – including Frederick Trump, the coarse father of the current prassident.

Despite her name (and despite a greater amptions), this epidemic did not break in Spain, according to today’s research state. However, for the first time, she caused a stir for the first time, because in the first World War neutral land no military sensory contestment figures kept under closure. At the end of May 1919 it bothered Madrid that about a third of the capital and eight million people were terrible nationwide.

Only later was the attention to a Fruhe only locally observed disease wave in the agricultural Haskell County in Kansas, where Spanish flu probably surprised by pigs on man. Maybe in this then Dunn-populated and remote area had not spread further when the US did not occur in 1917 in the First World War. This war entry was directed to recruits from the Haskell County on 28. February 1918 in the militar training camp camp Funston.

Infectious tightness

The wood barracks in this barracks were not enough for the coarse number of recruits, which is why many of them should camp in unheated tents. After the winter, however, as the coldest hitherto measured out, she likes the commander of the camp against the health and safety regulations but in the barracks, in which there was a lot of space afterwards.

On the 5th. Marz 1918 then broke out there a disease wave, at which 38 recruits died. Nevertheless, you had no concerns that the survivors soon then to exclude in the French Brest, from where the epidemic from militar movements and associated hygiene and lack of space spread extended over the whole of Europe.

Here she started at the beginning above all, but did not teeth often often and stabbed in summer temporarily. Only in the fall of 1918 was that the mortality rate of these mutated in the meantime and mutated into the US recruited illness, which loves many victims of oxygen deficiency blue, with 0.7 to more than 2.5 percent significantly high than the more producing flu waves, which only about 0.1 percent of the infected dead.


Doctors seemed to be more deliberately consciously as politicians. In the US, they tried to enforce a quartaine for expiring troop transporters, but failed in the influence of the militar, which was on the front of the front. This stomposcher then fell frequently smaller than expected, because the contagion rate on the narrow ships was still significantly high than on land. That you do not love visible on board, helped little because of the incubation time without symptoms.

Physicians warned at home as unsuccessful from coarse events such as a parade for sale of war bonds in Philadelphia. These also did not want to cancel the politicians. The clay and virtue-volume Milieu also brought the conspiracy theory into the game that the cause of the disease is a poisoning of fish in the sea, which was influenced by the German maders. Good three weeks later, the Spanish flu were alone in this city about 4.500 people.

Collapse of the treatment system

These many dead also contributed that the hospital drivers were not set up on a treatment of so many cases, and that numerous doctors and sisters at the disease are sick. Such a danger is also with today’s epidemics: intubation gates and medicines do not help all if they are – as currently in Italy – are not available in sufficient quantity (cf. We Uben Flu and Covid 19: Quarteran rules apply now in Italy).

Only later banned city administrations public events and closed guests and theaters temporarily. Some also wrote wearing the then primitive and far from FFP3 respiratory protective masks (see. The juxtapy of Spanish flu). To meaningful recommendations such as the avoid of crowds and washing the hands, but also nonsensical appearances like the waiver of tight clothes and pervious bowels were added.

This was related to that at that time a little secured over the disease and their distribution and pathways knew. Only in 2005, researchers were able to reconstruct the virus of frozen bodies in Alaska (cf. Fear of the flu epidemic).

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