f you are old enough to remember, “The Asian Flu” was a major flu outbreak starting in China in early 1956. It lasted until 1958. A vaccine was introduced and the pandemic slowed down.
The Spanish Flu of 1918
An unusually deadly flu started in 1918 and lasted until 1920. It was known as Spanish flu. It infected 500 million people around the world. It was responsible for the deaths of 50-100 million people. During World War l Spain was the first country to report flu deaths in their newspapers. As a result, commentators soon nicknamed the pandemic ‘Spanish Flu.’
Coronavirus, The Flu From China, Reports First Case In The US
Amazingly the new flu strain of coronavirus more than tripled in China during the weekend. It spread from Wuhan to many major cities including Beijing and Shanghai. This flu causes a type of pneumonia and easily passes from person to person. The country has reported that 15 medical works had caught this flu while treating patients. One of them is in critical condition. It is believed that it originated from a market, however, officials and scientists have not yet determined how it has been spreading. It has already struck people in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and South Korea. The United States has just reported its first case. China has reported more than 700 people that have been infected with 17 deaths being reported. There are concerns that the disease will spread more quickly as millions of people in China are heading to different places to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
First Case In The United States
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced yesterday that the first case of coronavirus was found in the state of Washington. The patient is reported as a man in his 30s. He just returned from Wuhan on January 15. He sought care at a medical facility in Washington where he is being treated for the illness. Since he just returned from China and due to his symptoms, it was suspected he had contacted coronavirus. This was later confirmed by laboratory testing.
What Is Known About The Virus
This is a new strain that has not been identified in humans before. Scientists believe that an animal is the most likely primary source of coronavirus although some human-to-human transmission has taken place. When a person is diagnosed their symptoms generally include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and difficulties in breathing.
Different Labels For Flu
Flu is generally determined as Type A, B, C, or D. However, there are also subtypes such as Type 1. The alphabet letters are the most commonly discussed. Type A flu is also called ‘influenza.’ This is usually brought to us by wild birds being the hosts. This flu constantly changes which is why the vaccination ingredients are changed on a yearly basis. This flu gives us the fever, aching muscles, chills, and so forth. Where Type A can be found in humans as well as animals, Type B is found only in humans. It is usually less severe than Type A although it can sometimes be harmful. Type C is the less severe of the three types. Type D is found only in animals such as pigs and cattle. It is not found in humans.
This new flu strain is spreading rapidly. As it enters a new country this gives it a new population to attack. Although it is mostly striking in the Asian countries we now have a case in the US. Everyone must take extra care to fight this disease before it turns into a major epidemic.