Mtguide Posted November 12, 2012 Share Posted November 12, 2012 My grandmother Cora, on my Mother's side, died in the great flu pandemic of 1918-1919, at the age of 24; at the time Cora's mother, aunt and grandmother were living with the family. Her mother and aunt, both in their 50's, were only mildly affected, and the grandmother, in her late 70's,and my mother, who was just 2, didn't get sick at all. My grandfather Harry, 32 at the time, a hale and hearty Irishman, fell ill with that flu and did survive, but only just barely. It did kill Harry's brother and sister. The pandemic came in two great waves, planet-wide, and the first wave affected populations more according to conventional wisdom, in that the young and healthy were more lightly affected. However, many of the elderly,up to 80%, and especially among northern and eastern European populations,were also only mildly affected, due to prior exposure and developed immune resistance to the Russian flu of the 1880s and 60s. The particular characteristic of the second great wave was that most infants and children, and the elderly, were only lightly affected if at all. The overwhelming number of those who were killed, worldwide, were the young, strong and healthy between the ages of 18 and 60. This was because the virus caused a severe and powerful overreaction in the bodies of those with a normally strong and resistant immune system, known as a "cytokine storm", in which the immune response to an unknown agent will send so many immune cells to the site of infection that it can cause serious damage to body tissues. Highly predominant with flu is infection of the lungs, resulting in damage to the alveoli and bronchi, eventual blockage of airways, and death. This great pandemic is still regarded as the most devastating epidemic in known human history. There were at least 20 million confirmed fatalities around the globe, and the total may have been as high as 50 million. Figures from countries such as Africa, China and Russia were, and are still, incomplete. In Spain and Portugal, entire towns and villages were virtually wiped out, all adult inhabitants lost, with only infants, children and the elderly surviving. India alone lost 12 million, again with entire towns and villages utterly decimated, ceasing to exist. In the U.S. , the total was between 500,00 and 675,000. So youth and health are not only no guarantee of resistance or safety, they may be the greatest liability when it comes to the flu. Viruses in general are extremely adaptable and opportunistic; the amazing work of the medical and scientific communities, worldwide, in keeping abreast of the constantly mutating strains of the flu and dozens of other viruses is nothing short of miraculous. I grew up in the 50's, when polio was striking one in every 4 or 5 children every summer, and then was literally stopped dead in its tracks, in a matter of months, by the Salk vaccine and a concerted and nationwide vaccination program. Likewise with smallpox,rubella(measles), pertussis(whooping cough),mumps, diptheria,typhus, tetanus, etc. Believe me, these are horrible diseases, I have seen many of them, except, thank god, smallpox. I know from personal experience that vaccines not only work, but that they are absolutely safe. We are now seeing a resurgence of measles and whooping cough, and even, of all things, the bubonic plague, due to the ignorance, superstition, and just plain damned stubbornness, stupidity, and yes, selfishness of people who refuse vaccines, or think it doesn't matter what they do themselves as individuals. Tuberculosis has mounted a powerful and highly resistant series of mutations, due to defunding of public health education (beginning in the Reagan administration) and resultant ignorance about the necessity of taking the full course of prescribed antibiotics. Just unbelievable. Folks, quit screwing around. If you REALLY care about your own and family's health, the future of your children, and indeed the health of your entire community, GO GET YOUR DAMNED FLU SHOT. NOW. Get your kids vaccinated, the full course, booster shots, everything. There were 5 kids in my family, we all got the full range of vaccinations, and we were all perfectly healthy and continue to be. GET YOUR SHOTS, people. If you think that just because you're young,strong and healthy,there's nothing to worry about, then you haven't seen what these diseases can do and how cruelly and brutally they cripple and kill. Don't wait to find out, and don't bring it down on the rest of us as well. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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