Flu - why was it so deadly in 1918?

Flu - why was it so deadly in 1918?

In 1918, the Spanish flu affected approximately 500 million people worldwide. At the time, the flu was among the leading causes of death worldwide. Yes, the flu ended up killing anywhere from 20 to 50 million people.

So why was the flu so deadly in 1918, and how did we learn to overcome its effects? 

The world was at war between the years 1914–18. Soldiers stationed in close quarters with poor hygiene may have been the source of the outbreak.

According to British scientist J.S. Oxford, the flu originated at a British Army post in France. 

Theories like these sparked intense debate. MacFarlane Burnet, a Nobel laureate, suggested that the origin was the United States.

As we found out recently, the flu can spread rapidly, regardless of its origin. More importantly, human beings are yet to develop immunity to new strains of the virus, especially as they mutate. 

I will park the argument about vaccination for now. There is simply too much controversy surrounding it. But what is clear and obvious is that a robust immunity helps. 

So what would you need to have good immunity so that you were not susceptible to the flu?

Body fat of 20% for men and 25% for women. The absence of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and a fatty liver condition. A balanced meal plan. One that ensures that you get all the necessary nutrients that your body needs on a daily basis. Some form of exercise, even a walk, on a regular basis. Decent sleep. 

What is surprising is that achieving these seemingly simple goals has become hard for most of humanity. 

If we manage to walk, we don't end up managing to control our weight. If we manage to control our weight, stress and anxiety get to us. 

There are several wars, unfortunately, raging in the world. Yet, we are nowhere close to the horrors of a world war. If you can't build your immunity now, then when will we ever? 

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