1918 Influenza Research Paper

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Causal Agent Many researchers have studied the 1918 influenza and made speculations to the origins of the virus. The 1918 influenza may have originated in the Far East as a mutated form of the avian flu. Several swine became infected with this mutated strain of avian flu. From the infected swine, the disease was transmitted to humans. The mutated influenza moved along Asian-European trade routes infecting new victims in its path. Once it reached the front lines of the war, it spread very quickly in the trenches (2). Dr. C. Hannoun, leading expert of the 1918 flu for the Institut Pasteur, has made considerations for other places of origin; such as Spain, Kansas, and Brest. He later deemed these as not likely. Historian Alfred W. Crosby speculated…show more content…
The symptoms were often so severe that the flu was at first misdiagnosed as dengue, cholera, or typhoid. The flu victims would initially have what appeared to be typical flu symptoms, then they would often develop pneumonia soon after being admitted into a hospital, and within a couple more hours mahogany colored spots would develop over cheek bones. After a few more hours cyanosis, a bluish skin discoloration caused by the lack of hemoglobin in the blood, could be seen forming around the ears and spreading over the face…show more content…
The medical and scientific communities began developing new theories and applied them to prevention, diagnoses, and treatments of diseases (5). Vaccines are difficult to develop for the influenza virus because all flu viruses mutate constantly. The flu virus mutates too quickly for the body’s immune system to keep up. When the flu virus infects a cell, it reproduces inside it until the cell erupts. Each time a cell erupts, a swarm of 100,000-1 million new viruses escape. It can take up to ten hours for the flu virus to cause an infected cell to erupt (1). Scientists monitor the flu’s antigen shift and adjust the vaccine yearly to try to keep up with the mutations. A vaccine is effective because it exposes people to the virus’s antigen and causes the immune system to respond. Once the body survives an infection, it gains an advantage over the virus if it invades the body again
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