The Dead Zone

Topics: Influenza, Avian influenza, Influenza pandemic Pages: 2 (759 words) Published: December 13, 2012
The Spanish Flu of 1918 was an influenza that swept the globe killing more people then World War One, World War Two, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined. The virus’s victims were between the ages of nineteen and twenty eight, an unusual range compared to expected ages of deaths from a normal flu. The Forsete, a ship that set sail from Norway’s northern coast, was hit with an outbreak of the Spanish Flu on September 21, 1918. Within the next two weeks, seven people died, and were buried in Longyearbyen, the arrival site of the Forsete. Kristy Duncan, a Canadian Geographer, set up an expedition to go to the grave site of these seven men in Longyearbyen. These men may very well be intact, cryogenically preserved, and may still be carrying the deadly virus; the Spanish Flu. Duncan predicts that these coffins will be approximately two meters under the frozen tundra. What she hopes to find is a live virus of the Spanish Flu; if they do not find the virus, she hopes that they can at least recover the virus’s genetic footprint or the RNA residue. This sample will then be compared to every major influenza sample in the world’s virological centers. No one ever kept a sample of the virus in 1918, so the only way to know more about the virus, is to find the virus. The first case of the Spanish Flu occurred on March 4, 1918 in Kansas. In only one month the flu had spread to almost all of America and Europe, but quickly subsided. A month later the flu resurfaced, mutated, and had become a killer. The virus then spread virtually all over the world killing between twenty and forty million people. Normal influenzas infect the inner lining of the respiratory tract damaging the air-filled cells of the lungs known as alveoli. The Spanish Flu was much worse making the lungs very hard and red. This flu was causing people to drown by filling the alveoli with fluid. Patients would suffer from cyanosis or discoloration of the skin and would have mahogany spots on their cheek...
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