Thursday, November 14, 2019
The Spanish Flu in Remission :: Journalism Influenza Health Medical Essays
The Spanish Flu in Remission For many it appears like there is finally reason to take a deep sigh of relief. The deadly Spanish Flu, now believed to have begun on the battlefields and in the military hospitals of the war, appears to be in remission. In the previous two days the death tolls has gone from 302 down to 269, and it today reached a remarkable low of only 17. Still the business men's advisory committee and our local Health Commission say that we must "keep up the fight so long as there is a case of influenza." The eradication of this illness is the responsibility of every citizen and does not simply rest with the physician. Many are preparing to proclaim an end to this devastating illness which has already claimed the lives of millions world-wide, and has forced many Los Angeles residents to isolate themselves. The disease was known in the battlefields in which it originated as "three-day fever,". Since then the name stuck. It can attack in an instance without warning, and leave those it infects dead in less than a week. John C. Acker, a Sergeant within the 32nd Division American Expeditionary Force, described the course of the illness in greater detail: "It runs its course in a week or more. It hits suddenly and one's temperature nearly chases the mercury thru the top of the M.D.'s thermometer, face gets red, every bone in the body aches and the head splits wide open." The disease has been the source of enormous tragedy, and sadly has claimed the lives of some of our nation's greatest young men, who have successfully fought to push back imposing enemy armies despite tremendous difficulties. After these soldiers returned home a new battle confronted Uncle Sam, as the dark shadow of flu claimed countless the lives of countless civilians and military personnel. Fortunately Los Angeles' reaction to this scourge has been swift. Quarantine has been the official policy. This week such measures continue as nearly all downtown churches announce that they will not hold their regular Children's Sunday School classes since large meetings could endanger the lives of the youth. While the measures are only temporary it has been yet another sign of the inconveniences that quarantine measures have produced. The churches which made this decision hail from virtually every denomination.