The Spanish Flu

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The Spanish Flu

The Spanish Flu affected almost every country in Europe such as France and Spain, it also spread to North, West, and South Africa; India; and America. The virus spread due to poor hygiene from the trenches and when the soldiers returned home after World War 1. There were no vaccines available for the Spanish Flu as a vaccine was not invented until the 1930s. (Oxford Journals, 2015)

The Spanish Flu

What happens at a cellular levelThe virus invades the upper or lower respiratory tract. There are two large glycoproteins on the outside of the viral particles called the Hemagglutinin (H1) and neuraminidase (N1). The H1 binds the virus to the cells of the lungs, nose and throat. The N1 releases the virus from the infected cells. It caused damage to the lungs and acute inflammation of the bronchi (air ways) and alveoli of the lungs. There is massive swelling, bleeding and destruction of the surface cell layer of the lungs. The body’s immune system produces antibody’s with reduces the effect of the virus.(Livestrong, 2015), (Suzuki, Y, 2005).

SymptomsThe disease symptoms include fever: -fatigue -muscle -joint pain -headache -lack of appetite The Spanish Flu caused severe damage to the lungs and acute inflammation of the air ways. Researchers found that there was swelling and bleeding in the lungs which resulted in reduced oxygen intake. (Livestrong, 2015)

Graph showing deaths from the spanish flu (pandemic flu, 2015)

Geographical regions most effected

video of the Spanish FluThe Influenza Pandemic of 1918 2009

The Spanish Flu lasted for 2 years from 1918 to 1920 and spread across the world in only three months. It is thought that the virus mutated and made itself weaker. This Spanish Flu is a strain of the H1N1 virus. There have been no other out-breaks of the Spanish Flu. The recent Bird Flu virus is genetically similar to the Spanish Flu. There was a wave one and a wave two of the spanish flu. The first wave in March 1918 was relatively mild compared to the second wave in August 1918. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2015)

Change in Out-breaks over time


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