The world is fighting the coronavirus today. Even a large country like India is staggering. But this is not the first time. About 104 years ago, the Spanish flu pandemic killed so many people in the world that till date they have not been counted correctly.
At that time the world population was around 180 crores. Within two years, some 600 million of these people were hit by the virus. That is, every third person in the world was sick with Spanish flu. According to different estimates, between 1.74 crore and 5 crore people lost their lives. Compare this to the population of the world today, this is equivalent to the death of about 200 million people.
In India, Spanish flu was known as Bombay Flu or Bombay Fever. Between 1 crore and 2 crore people were killed. This was the highest number of deaths from Spanish flu in any one country.
The deadly second wave, 80% infection and death in three months
While the Spanish flu outbreak lasted for about two years, the last three months of 1918 were the most deadly. It is believed that the mutations in the flu virus were caused by the movement of soldiers during the First World War. 80% of Spanish flu cases and lives were lost during these three months.
- No investigation, such as RT-PCR or rapid antigen test, was available to confirm the epidemic of the Spanish flu ie H1N1 influenza virus spread 104 years ago.
- Nor was there any anti-viral drug like Remadecivir.
- There were no mechanical ventilators for critical care.
- There was also no antibiotic medicine to treat secondary bacterial infection after viral infection. The first antibiotic penicillin was discovered 10 years later.
- There was also no vaccine to avoid the Spanish flu. Researchers Thomas Francis and Zonal Salk of the University of Michigan, USA, created the first vaccine for the flu in 1940 with the help of the military.
- Then the doctors did not even know that the disease is spread by the virus and not by bacteria. Wilson Smith, Christopher Entreuse, and Patrick Ledlaw isolated the influenza virus for the first time in 1933.
- Due to absence of antivirals and antibiotics, then aspirin, kunine, ammonia, turpentine, brine, balm etc. were used.
Don’t know where it started, the first case was found in America
Where did the Spanish flu start? Till now no strong answer has been received. According to different claims, apart from France, China and Britain, America is also considered its birthplace. Yes, the historical fact that the first case of Spanish flu was found in the military cantonment of Fort Riley, Kansas Province, USA, on March 04, 1918.