Spanish flu: what humanity ignored from the biggest pandemic in modern history

published on August 3, 2020

There was the catastrophe of 1918 over one and a half million americans crossed the atlantic for war and they brought something with them one soldier got the spanish turned people blue and black and killed them almost

Certainly it was a bird flu originally despite this production shifted from small family flight larger farmers found more efficient ways to meet growing demand for just a few weeks more

Chicken and short life span of a chicken make mine chicken now ain't that looking good they never had dreamed that influence could ever do anything like this to people before

A system of millions and millions of chickens being grown in this very small confined area this is not the first outbreak of bird flu in the us and it won't be the last

Human bird flu infection is rising the last time bird flu was detected here thousands of birds had to be destroyed the spread of a deadly new virus grows

And rapidly spreading respiratory spread of the corona virus a public health emergency of international cancer you're not allowed to enter any public millions of people are in quarantine patients continue to

Die health officials in china don't have enough on their hands with a spreading coronavirus now officials announced an outbreak of bird flu mutations in the viral genome that leads to the

Formation of new strains scientists and public health officials are extremely concerned millions of birds will have to be killed and the virus is spreading but when we overcrowd

Animals it's just a breeding ground for disease uh the the overcrowding the stress crippling their immune systems to recognize that how we treat animals can have global public health

Implications experts like to say it's not if but when covered 19 is just address robots in the midst of our current pandemic we keep hearing comparisons between what is happening now

And what happened in the 1918 influenza pandemic that infected one third of the world's population and killed around 50 million people and is regarded as one of the most severe pandemics

In recorded human history the 1918 flu was caused by an influenza virus subtype h1n1 a bird flu the origin of which is strongly thought to be a poultry farm in kansas where it's spread throughout

Most cities in the us and reach europe by the hundreds of thousands of american soldiers who cross the atlantic during the first world war in fact all three of the pandemics that took

Place in the 20th century were all caused by different strains of avian influenza in more recent years experts have feared the risk to global public health from the strains h5n1 and h7n9

Outbreaks of both strains started because of poultry farming and the sale of poultry at live bird markets and most worryingly the h7n9 strain has an infection fatality rate of

30 and the h5n1 strain has an infection fatality rate of 60 to put that into perspective the 1918 influenza had a fatality rate of somewhere around 25

And the current coronavirus covert 19 is fought to have a fatality rate of around 05 imagine if right now instead of being affected by a virus with a 05 fatality rate we were facing a virus

With a fatality rate of 30 or even 60 thankfully both the h5n1 and h7n9 strains both have poor human to human transmission capability however the h7n9 strain is rated by the influenza risk assessment tool

As having the greatest potential to cause a pandemic as well as potentially posing the greatest risk to severely impact public health if it were to achieve sustained human to

Human transmission this is because influenza strains can mutate at any point and so at any point a highly dangerous strain of avian influenza could mutate to also become highly pathogenic this is why bird flu

Is one of the gravest threats facing humanity at any given time in fact the united nations states that the two biggest threats to human existence are climate change and pandemics and of

All the diseases avian influenza is considered the most concerning when it comes to its pandemic potential normally for a virus to have pandemic potential

The fatality rate would have to be relatively low so as to ensure that the virus can spread without killing its host before it's able to do so however with modern farming practices

Involving tens of thousands of birds confined in densely packed barns on farms that hold hundreds of thousands of birds the virus can spread quickly and with live animal markets

Taking place in cities with millions of people in a world of high volumes of air travel a strain of avian influenza wouldn't even necessarily need to ratchet down its fatality

Rate to become a pandemic risk think of how much our society has been affected in this current pandemic everything has stopped billions of people have been placed in forced quarantine or self-isolation

We even became fearful of potential food shortages and the economy has collapsed all with a virus that has a 05 fatality rate now let's say we have a virus that

Spreads like the common colds but kills half of everyone it infects and the risk of death is the same if you are 80 or 20 the world as we know it would cease to exist society would

Collapse there would be no netflix no internet no amazon deliveries no groceries utilities will be severely affected meaning people would lose access to water and electricity

With the way our world currently operates when we talk about pandemics the conversation is never if there is a next one it's always when there is a next one now we might be lucky

Maybe the next pandemic will be more in line with the 2009 swine flu pandemic or maybe it will be a novel strain of avian influenza with fatality rate 20 30 40 50 100 times greater

Than we are currently dealing with in a recent un report rising demand for animal protein as well as animal farming were cited as being main risk factors in the creation

And spread of viruses and thomas gillespie a disease ecologist at amore university recently stated that the primary risks for future spillover of zoonotic disease is

A deforestation of tropical environments and large-scale industrial farming of animals specifically pigs and chickens at high density and both of these activities are

Increasing rapidly in fact pathogens are jumping from animals to people faster than scientists can develop vaccines and treatments we're truly at a tipping point we must

Realign our financial and agricultural systems to truly acknowledge the critical importance of the environment on our health where the future is going to look far

Worse by far the biggest risk factor in the creation of avian flu is poultry farming poultry slaughter and life bird markets avian influenza is such a huge risk because we farm

And slaughter tens of billions of birds every single year for food and as long as we continue to do so we will suffer from outbreaks and pandemics of avian flu

And the risk doesn't just come from farms in asia there are outbreaks of bird flu happening all over the world all of the time there are for example hundreds of wet markets across the us

With 80 alone in new york city and bird flu strains have been found within these markets it is a constant issue that is happening everywhere and just as the 1918 pandemic is strongly fought to

Have originated from a poultry farm in kansas the next pandemic could start in a farm in england or in australia or in france or in the us

It could start anywhere and when it does the only thing we will be able to do is hope that the infection fatality rate is not high enough to end the world as we know it

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