Carbon Express Arrows
For the scientifically curious
Contributors to this thread:
HA/KS 29-Oct-17
Anony Mouse 30-Oct-17
rock50 30-Oct-17
HA/KS 30-Oct-17
Hawkarcher 30-Oct-17
Mint 30-Oct-17
Annony Mouse 31-Oct-17
Thumper 31-Oct-17
Rhody 31-Oct-17
From: HA/KS

HA/KS's Link
An interesting article about the 1918 Influenza epidemic. It may have started in KS and been spread from an Army base.

"Wherever it began, the pandemic lasted just 15 months but was the deadliest disease outbreak in human history, killing between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide, according to the most widely cited analysis. An exact global number is unlikely ever to be determined, given the lack of suitable records in much of the world at that time. But it’s clear the pandemic killed more people in a year than AIDS has killed in 40 years, more than the bubonic plague killed in a century."

From: Anony Mouse
Interesting article, Henry.

I recall reading several papers in scientific journals on how the disease was tracked in recent years by using tissue slides made during the influenza epidemic and testing the genetic material of the virus. Sequencing showed how the influenza virus mutated and enabled tracking of the disease.

Today, we know much more about the vectors of the spread of not only the flu, but also other diseases from the historical society of past pandemics, including the plague of the dark ages. Avian flyways are linked to the spread of many viral infections including West Nile.

The yearly flu shot is a immunological concoction of the best guess of what strains are expected based on genetic analysis of strains found being vectored around the world. They may miss a specific strain, but provide some ability for ones immune system to fight and respond to the viral challenge.

My wife works at a major veterinary virology lab and I get the latest scoop on much going on in the world of viruses. Some of the animal viruses can cause human infections such as WNV.

From: rock50
Thanks for the interesting link, Henry.

This epidemic had a large influence on my father's family.

Around the turn of the previous century my grandfather's younger brother married my grandmother's younger sister (two brothers married girls who were sisters). They lived on a farm in western Ohio. They had four children ranging in age from 13 to 2 years. My grandparents lived and farmed in central Illinois.

The flu epidemic apparently hit Ohio very hard. I think it was in 1920, (without looking up family history) because my dad said he was 9 and he was born in 1911 . The father (my grandfather's brother) in Ohio and the 2 year old son died on the same day. My grandparents traveled from Illinois to Ohio for the funeral. The father and son were buried in the same casket, the son cradled in his father's arms. On the day of their funeral the Ohio mother died also. Her last request to my grandmother (her sister) was to keep the surviving children together.

My grandparents had 10 children at the time. The brought the 2 girls and 1 boy who survived back to Illinois and adopted them.

Until I was 16 years old, I never knew the facts of this account. Being double cousins, the children in both families all looked similar, and I called them uncle and aunt all their lives.

I don't know if there was concern/fear about the transmission of the flu back to Illinois at that time.

From: HA/KS
Great history story, Rock

From: Hawkarcher

Hawkarcher's Link
Here's a link to see how your neck of the woods was affected by the outbreak. I occasionally see stories/historical plaques referencing Des Moines and WWI army base and the flu so I googled it. Interesting.

a very large percentage of the viruses that plague mankind have jumped from another species in the past...mostly domesticated animals but there are lots of exceptions. In general the more virulent the viral infection is in humans the more recent is the jump from another species.

From: Mint

Mint's Link
Attached is an article on how they are using frozen corpses to help them identify why the virus was so deadly.

From: Annony Mouse

Annony Mouse's Link
And re-enter the plague...

From: Thumper
At stated above this years first flu vaccine is just a guess of which strains we might need protection.

My question, when should you get a flu shot?

From: Rhody
now. I never use to get a flu shot. Now, I get them. I'm coming up on 2 years this next Feb, when I spent 2 days from pneumonia that put near put me down for the count. Started out as a flu/cold. BTW I'm 63

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