Posted by Murrisk on July 03, 2001 at 02:44:18:
At this time of the year, in 1918, the first phase of the Spanish flu had swept through Ireland and the rest of Europe and the world. This unusual sickness of epidemic character was reported by the Spanish wire service, Fabra in Madrid, to Reuter's London headquarters. An estimated 8 million Spaniards became sick with what became known as Spanish flu.
This flu was first reported in Canton in February 1918 and it spread rapidly throughout the world. The first wave was mild and was frequently referred to as the 3 day flu. This phase of the epidemic subsided in the summer of 1918. However, in August 1918 a virulent second phase appeared.
By March 1919, this influenza pandemic had spread throughout the world and an estimated 25 to 40 million people died. In contrast, the bubonic plague claimed an estimated 2 million lives. The Spanish flu, atypically, claimed the young, able and healthy. The sickness began with a cough, then increasing pain behind the eyes and ears. Body temperature, heart rate, and respiration escalated rapidly. In the worst cases, pneumonia quickly followed. The two diseases inflamed and irritated the lungs until they filled with liquid, suffocating the patients and causing their bodies to turn a cyanotic blue-black.
In the United Kingdom (and Ireland) there were 280,000 deaths from the Spanish flu within a 12 month period. In the United States there were 650,000 deaths.
I remember older family members speaking about the Spanish flu yet, today, there seems to be no reference to it/for it for the Castlebar-Westport district. Does anybody have any information.
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