Download Britain and the 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic: A Dark Epilogue by Niall Johnson PDF

By Niall Johnson

Between August 1918 and March 1919 a flu pandemic unfold around the globe and in exactly lower than a 12 months forty million humans had died from the virus around the world. this is often the 1st ebook to supply a complete heritage and heavily research the British reports in the course of that time.

The e-book presents the main up to date tally of the pandemic’s impression, together with the enormous mortality, in addition to wondering the plain origins of the pandemic. A ‘total’ heritage, this booklet levels from the unfold of the 1918–1919 pandemic, to the fundamental biology of influenza, and the way epidemics and pandemics are attainable, to contemplate the demographic, social, fiscal and political affects of one of these substantial pandemic, together with the cultural dimensions of naming, blame, metaphors, reminiscence, the media, paintings and literature.

An inter-disciplinary research, it stretches from background and geography via to drugs in an effort to exhibit the whole value of the 1st worldwide clinical ‘disaster’ of the 20th century, and appears forward to attainable pandemics of the future.

Niall Johnson brings a magnificent scholarly eye in this interesting and hugely proper subject making this crucial studying for historians and people with an curiosity in British and clinical history.

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Additional resources for Britain and the 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic: A Dark Epilogue

Sample text

The illness in rabbits was also not influenza and the growth of the bacillus in their lungs was isolated and inconsistent, thus failing the fourth of Koch’s postulates. Pfeiffer, by the rules governing bacteriology, had not proved the role of the bacillus in causing influenza. However, while he stated his results and theories quite conservatively, such was his status that they were regarded as correct. The 1919 edition of Hans Zinsser’s Textbook of Bacteriology stated ‘the relationship between the clinical disease known as influenza or grippe and the Pfeiffer bacillus has been definitely established by numerous investigations’ (Zinsser 1919: 540, cited in Crosby 1989: 270).

It is the evolutionary advantages and possibilities that allow this constant affliction from the ‘ever-changing virus’ to continue to harry humanity. While medical science and treatments for many conditions have changed immensely since 1918, we still have relatively little success in beating influenza, especially a novel influenza. While we believe we can contain and stop the impact of secondary (bacterial) infections, the flu virus is still eluding us. A new influenza strain as virulent as that experienced in 1918 would still wreak havoc, claiming a terrible toll, especially if preparations have not been made (and maintained) for such a possibility.

The potential for an epidemic or even pandemic was widely appreciated. Intensive surveillance in Hong Kong and Guangdong Province, China, revealed a handful of further cases by the end of 1997, all in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China (HK SAR) (WHO 1998a, 1998b). From the eighteen cases, there were six deaths (Nicholson et al. 2003: 1736; WHO 2004a). With the large number of deaths in poultry allied with the small number of human cases, and with the risk of more, it was determined that drastic measures had to be taken with regard to the poultry population.

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