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Avian Influenza, the new Spanish flu of 1918?

Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017 1:40 AM EDT
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Avian Influenza, the new Spanish flu of 1918?

The flu epidemic of 1918 was one of the worst diseases that Americans have had to face. The virus killed an estimated 20 million people in the US and other countries. The United States lost over a 500,000 people between September 1918 and June 1919. Even now no one really knows why the Virus was so deadly.

Dubbed the Spanish flu, like most flus, it started with aches and the fever. The disease turned it's victim's faces black, the bottom of their feet turned black and they started coughing blood. In days, sometimes hours, those infected with the disease would drown, their lungs filled with a bloody liquid. Almost everyone caught the flu in one form or another. 2.5 percent of it's victims died, making it almost 25 times more deadly then any other flu to date. The Spanish flu left behind more questions then were answered. For instance why did mostly young healthy people have a harder time with the disease. And why did it never reappear?

Researchers are still looking for those answers, and some new answers may be coming to light. Scientists have reconstructed the genetic code of the deadly 1918 "Spanish flu," which swept the globe and killed an estimated 20 to 40 million people. Among their findings: The 1918 virus strain developed in birds and was similar to the "bird flu" that today has spurred fears of another worldwide epidemic. By studying the once deadly 1918 virus's genetic information, scientists may become better able to predict future pandemics, or widespread epidemics.

It may also aid the development of new vaccines, antiviral medicines, and other treatments to cope with flus. Another study, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that combining pieces of the 1918 strain with a mouse flu virus results in a very lethal flu. Health officials worry that another scenario, like the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, may be developing in Asia.

That area of the world is currently experiencing a massive avian influenza outbreak. Which has infected hundreds of millions of birds and 76 confirmed human avian influenza related deaths. So far the disease isn't known to have developed into a strain that can easily pass from person to person. This however is one of the biggest fears, that the H5N1 strain will somehow combine with a human flu virus and cause a potentially uncontrollable pandemic among people.

This article is combined from information received from,

CDC
WHO
NPR
And numerous other sources.

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19 Oct 2017 at 11:37am
The next wave of bird flu could be worse than ever - Science News
19 Oct 2017 at 11:37am
Western Cape counts the cost of drought and bird flu - Farmer's Weekly
19 Oct 2017 at 7:41am
Western Cape counts the cost of drought and bird flu - Farmer's Weekly
19 Oct 2017 at 7:41am
Bird flu: higher egg prices and shortages loom - Kempton Express
18 Oct 2017 at 9:17pm
Bird flu: higher egg prices and shortages loom - Kempton Express
18 Oct 2017 at 9:17pm
Reps want N1.8bn compensation for bird flu victims - Daily Trust
18 Oct 2017 at 6:03pm
Reps want N1.8bn compensation for bird flu victims - Daily Trust
18 Oct 2017 at 6:03pm
Dutch bird flu outbreak leads to trade bans - Poultry World
18 Oct 2017 at 4:14am
Dutch bird flu outbreak leads to trade bans - Poultry World
18 Oct 2017 at 4:14am
[LISTEN] Eggs shortage to worsen amid bird flu outbreak - Eyewitness News
17 Oct 2017 at 10:41pm
[LISTEN] Eggs shortage to worsen amid bird flu outbreak - Eyewitness News
17 Oct 2017 at 10:41pm
No decision yet on bird flu vaccination - Zokwana - Fin24
17 Oct 2017 at 10:35pm
No decision yet on bird flu vaccination - Zokwana - Fin24
17 Oct 2017 at 10:35pm
Widespread bird flu, drought affect W Cape farmers - eNCA (blog)
17 Oct 2017 at 8:45pm
Widespread bird flu, drought affect W Cape farmers - eNCA (blog)
17 Oct 2017 at 8:45pm
South Korean egg prices back down after bird flu spike - Nikkei Asian Review
17 Oct 2017 at 6:11pm
South Korean egg prices back down after bird flu spike - Nikkei Asian Review
17 Oct 2017 at 6:11pm
China confirms bird flu outbreak at poultry farms in central province - Nasdaq
17 Oct 2017 at 3:39am
China confirms bird flu outbreak at poultry farms in central province - Nasdaq
17 Oct 2017 at 3:39am
Farmers voice concerns about compensation for bird flu - Poultry World
16 Oct 2017 at 5:31am
Farmers voice concerns about compensation for bird flu - Poultry World
16 Oct 2017 at 5:31am
Poultry sector close to full recovery from bird flu - Philippine Star
15 Oct 2017 at 9:31am
Poultry sector close to full recovery from bird flu - Philippine Star
15 Oct 2017 at 9:31am
New bird flu text alert service in NI - Irish Farmers Journal
15 Oct 2017 at 7:16am
New bird flu text alert service in NI - Irish Farmers Journal
15 Oct 2017 at 7:16am
New bird flu case in Netherlands; 42000 egg-laying hens culled - NL Times
13 Oct 2017 at 6:10am
New bird flu case in Netherlands; 42000 egg-laying hens culled - NL Times
13 Oct 2017 at 6:10am
WC govt, DAFF working to find solutions to bird flu outbreak - Eyewitness News
13 Oct 2017 at 12:21am
WC govt, DAFF working to find solutions to bird flu outbreak - Eyewitness News
13 Oct 2017 at 12:21am
Bird flu cases in WC increases to 50 - Eyewitness News
12 Oct 2017 at 9:52am
Bird flu cases in WC increases to 50 - Eyewitness News
12 Oct 2017 at 9:52am
Zambia has not recorded any cases of bird flu-Katambo - Lusaka Times
12 Oct 2017 at 9:18am
Zambia has not recorded any cases of bird flu-Katambo - Lusaka Times
12 Oct 2017 at 9:18am
Producers to boost biosecurity measures after bird flu outbreak - Fin24
12 Oct 2017 at 7:40am
Producers to boost biosecurity measures after bird flu outbreak - Fin24
12 Oct 2017 at 7:40am
Some WC retailers running out of eggs due to bird flu - Eyewitness News
11 Oct 2017 at 11:10am
Some WC retailers running out of eggs due to bird flu - Eyewitness News
11 Oct 2017 at 11:10am
'Devastating' bird flu culling to cost Gauteng farm R65m - Fin24
11 Oct 2017 at 1:46am
'Devastating' bird flu culling to cost Gauteng farm R65m - Fin24
11 Oct 2017 at 1:46am