Pandemic The deadly Flu Of 1918 (Viral Mutations (The type A virus is…
Pandemic The deadly Flu Of 1918
The type A virus is different from the others because it can infect species other then humans, including seals, whales, horses, pigs and birds.
When a person is infected with an influenza virus, their immune system responds by creating antibodies so it can fight back.
There are three types of influenza viruses that affect people: A, B and C The 1918 epidemic was caused by a type A virus.
When a person catches the same or a similar flu. At a later time their immune systemwill recognise the virus and be better able to fight it.
Influenza is a virus , a very simple micro organism that needs a host to survive.
Viruses are constantly changing, usally these changes are small and happen graduallay over time.
The type A virus is able to change suddenly and dramatically to form a sub type a process known as antigenic shift. This kind of big change means a host has less chance of beating the virus.
Dangerous new strains of type A viruses sometimes emerge when bird, pig and human influenza sub types combine. Some scientists believe this was the cause of the 1918 influenza pandemic.
Lot's of the soldiers had weak immune systems, compromised by the stress of war.
Soldiers from the first world war had been brought together
from all over the world, they often lived in crowded and unsanitary conditions.
By the middle of 1918 the virus had reached the sourthen Hemisphere.
It's thought that the influenza virus was first spread by soldiers traveling from North America to Europe in early 1918.
Lot's of soldiers fighting in the trenches of western Europe fell ill and many developed series complications that attacked their lungs.
The flu reached the big cities of Europe and North America by August, people started dying in South Africa, Japan, China, Peru Greece and Italy.
Some of the patients turned a smokey sort of black, some of the patients stayed that way for up to three weeks.
Pneumonia also called cyanosis, where the skin changes colour because of alack of oxygen in the blood.
People suffered terrible nosebleeds; others bled excessively from their organs.
Some people were dying within twenty-four hours.
Everyone was sick
The two politicians denied this, saying they had been treated the same as other passengers and there is some evidence the deadly flu was already in Auckland before the Nigara arrived.
New Zealanders had been exposed to the flu before the last series outbreak was in 1907 but the 1918 epidemic was something else.
A rumour spread that the ship hadn't been quarantined because the Prime Minister, Willian Massey, and his deputy, Sir Joseph Ward, were on board.
By December 1918, the influenza virus had spread throughout New Zealand. Many people blamed a ship that docked in Auckland in early October the RMS Niagara for bringing the virus into the country.
Maori suffered a particuly high death toll. Because so many Maori died, some people blamed them for the source of the outbreak.