By Niall Johnson
Between August 1918 and March 1919 a flu pandemic unfold around the globe and in exactly less than a 12 months forty million humans had died from the virus around the globe. this can be the 1st ebook to supply a complete heritage and heavily learn the British reviews in the course of that time.
The e-book offers the main up to date tally of the pandemic’s impression, together with the giant mortality, in addition to wondering the obvious origins of the pandemic. A ‘total’ background, this booklet levels from the unfold of the 1918–1919 pandemic, to the elemental biology of influenza, and the way epidemics and pandemics are attainable, to contemplate the demographic, social, financial and political affects of this sort of mammoth pandemic, together with the cultural dimensions of naming, blame, metaphors, reminiscence, the media, artwork and literature.
An inter-disciplinary learn, it stretches from background and geography via to medication for you to exhibit the total importance of the 1st international scientific ‘disaster’ of the 20th century, and appears forward to attainable pandemics of the future.
Niall Johnson brings a magnificent scholarly eye in this interesting and hugely correct subject making this crucial interpreting for historians and people with an curiosity in British and scientific history.
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Extra info for Britain and the 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic: A Dark Epilogue
They also saw benefit in adopting the approach Burnet suggested in his 1944 lectures at Harvard (Burnet 1945), agreeing that ‘infectious diseases should be studied primarily as an ecological problem of interaction between two species of organism’ (Zhdanov et al. 1958, translated 1960: 344). This is much more an ecological/epidemiological/geographical view rather than a simple, reductionist, mechanistic, ‘scientific’ medical view that had tended to dominate biomedical research. This criticism was echoed by van Helvoort who, when discussing Burnet’s monograph, also raised how some ‘studied the organism in isolation’ (what he termed the ‘ontological way’) while Burnet contrasted these methods with a study of organisms in their natural environment: the ecological approach.
Crosby critiques Pfeiffer’s approach, revealing the flaws in his research, but does recognise the ‘keenness of hindsight’ (Crosby 1989: 269). Pfeiffer first saw the bacillus in 1890, but did not begin his research on influenza until November 1891, by which time the Russian flu epidemic was waning. Crosby wonders if the organisms Pfeiffer examined actually came from that epidemic at all. Pfeiffer certainly found large quantities of the bacillus in the upper respiratory tracts of people who apparently had been ill with influenza, as required by the first of the Koch postulates.
Consequently, more than seventeen million birds died or were destroyed in the HK SAR (Gladwell 1997: 64). The WHO subsequently claimed that ‘most influenza experts . . agree that the prompt culling of Hong Kong’s entire poultry population . . probably averted a pandemic’ (WHO 2004a). It appears that the virus may have been a re-combination of human and avian flus occurring in southern China. China has previously been identified as a possible reservoir of influenzas due to the large numbers of birds and pigs, often in close contact with people.