Spanish Flu Pandemic

Military hospital during the Spanish flu pandemic.
The H1N1 virus is one of the descendants of the Spanish flu that causes a devastating pandemic in humanity over the period 1918’1919. Following the completion of the pandemic virus persisted in pigs, and with it the descendants of the 1918 virus have circulated in humans over the course of the twentieth century, contributing to the appearance of normal seasonal influenza annually. However, direct transmission from pigs to humans is quite rare, since only 12 cases have shown in the United States since 2005 .
The influenza virus has been considered one of the most elusive until now known by medical science because of its constant change to circumvent the protective antibodies that have developed after previous exposure to or flu vaccines. Every two or three years, the virus undergoes minor changes. However, about every decade, after which a large part of the world population has reached some level of resistance to these minor changes, the virus evolves drastically, allowing it to easily infect a large population groups across the world, often affecting hundreds of millions of people whose immune defenses are not adequate to withstand the onslaught. The influenza virus is also known for making small changes in how very short periods of time. For example, during the Spanish flu pandemic, the initial wave of illness was relatively mild and controlled, while the second wave a year later was highly lethal .
Various types of influenza virus in humans. The solid boxes show the emergence of new strains of influenza that cause pandemics appellants. The dotted line indicates the lack of certainty in the identification of strains .
By mid-century, in 1957, an Asian flu pandemic infected more than 45 million people in Northern America, killing 70,000 people. In total almost caused 2 million deaths worldwide. Eleven years later, from 1968 to 1969, the influenza pandemic of Hong Kong affecting over 50 million people, causing some 33,000 deaths and causing about 3900 million dollars in expenses. In 1976, some 500 soldiers were infected with swine flu in a few weeks. However, at the end of that month, investigators found that the virus had “mysteriously disappeared”, literally. During an average year in a country like the United States, there are approximately 50 million cases of influenza “normal”, which kill about 36,000 people. Most patients affected are part of groups at risk as extremely young or old, sick and pregnant women, with a large percentage of deaths due to complications such as pneumonia.
Medical researchers around the world have admitted that the swine flu virus could mutate into something as deadly as the Spanish flu and are watching carefully the last outbreak of swine flu in 2009 in order to create a contingency plan for a possible pandemic imminent global. Many countries have taken precautionary measures and education to reduce the chances of this happening.