Origins of the Spanish Influenza pandemic (1918–1920) and its relation to the First World War | Pub Med Central

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The virus which was responsible for the first benign wave of the Spanish Influenza in the spring of 1918, and which was to become extremely virulent by the end of the summer of 1918, was inextricably associated with the soldiers who fought during the First World War. The millions of young men who occupied the military camps and trenches were the substrate on which the influenza virus developed and expanded. Many factors contributed to it, such as: the mixing on French soil of soldiers and workers from the five continents, the very poor quality of life of the soldiers, agglomeration, stress, fear, war gasses used for the first time in history in a massive and indiscriminate manner, life exposed to the elements, cold weather, humidity and contact with birds, pigs and other animals, both wild and domestic. Today, this combination of circumstances is not present and so it seems unlikely that new pandemics, such as those associated with the avian influenza or swine influenza, will emerge with the virulence which characterized the Spanish Influenza during the autumn of 1918.

J Mol Genet Med. 2009 December; 3(2): 190–194.
Published online 2009 November 30.

Original URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805838/

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Cite : Origins of the Spanish Influenza pandemic (1918–1920) and its relation to the First World War | Pub Med Central (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805838/) by Anton Erkoreka licensed as CC-BY-NC-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/uk/)

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About Kate Lindsay

Kate Lindsay, University of Oxford is the Director of World War One Centenary: Continuations and Beginnings. She is also the Manager for Education Enhancement at Academic IT where she also led the First World War Poetry Digital Archive and public engagement initiative Great War Archive. She has eight years experience of in-depth work on World War I digital archives and educational curricula. Kate has a degree in English Literature from the University of Leeds, combined with an MSc in Information Systems from the University for Sheffield, and an MSc in Educational Research from the University of Oxford. She is particularly interested in womens' experience of War and the representation of the First World War in popular culture.
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