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SPANISH FLU VS. COVID-19

Viewed 398 times 2020-4-1 08:45 |System category:News


The Spanish Flu, the deadliest viral outbreak of recent history, infected about a third of the planet’s population between 1918-1919. With similar mortality rates to COVID-19, it is a tempting comparison. But it’s not an entirely fair one.

A century ago, when the Spanish Flu hit, the world was at war, which greatly inhibited public health responses. Soldiers were packed in close quarters, facilitating its lightning spread between people. At the time, antiviral medications didn’t exist, and there was no way to diagnose Spanish Flu. Today, we can track, diagnose, and manage flu infections far more easily than we could in 1918.

Medicine has advanced dramatically since that time, with a better understanding of how to manage patients who have respiratory failure, better medications and equipment, and antibiotics for individuals who get a secondary bacterial infection after the viral infection.

But unlike 1918, the world today is also more crowded and more connected. Rapid movement across borders and close contact speed up the spread of viruses like COVID-19 — just as it did with Spanish Flu during the war.

corona virus-covid-19-vs-1918-spanish-flu-epidemic

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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