The Breakout of Influenza in the Military

Topics: Influenza, Dust Bowl, United States Pages: 3 (928 words) Published: December 4, 2005
How has the breakout of Influenza hurt the military? It was one of the worst breakouts in American History. One of the Reasons is because it has taken the lives of over 600,000 Americans. It caused a lot of our military members to become ill and not capable of fighting in the European War. The first breakout happened in Fort Riley, Kansas. It was at a camp with over 26,000 men. Within this camp there were thousands of mules and horses. They produced a ton of manure that had to be burned. With the burning of this manure there would always be frequent dust storms that would become very unpleasant ( The dust storms are very dangerous because dust particles can dodge the body's immune system and lodge into your lungs (Anderson, 48). March 9, 1918 there was a great dust storm that was combining with burning manure, causing yellow haze. This would be the start of breakout. People were coming down with bad colds and eventually hundreds were sick. Doctors noticed that this virus seemed to spread more quickly than it ever had done before. It was hard for them to detect because there is not a single symptom that shows up in every case (Murphy, 98). They had came to the conclusion that this virus was highly contagious. Flu viruses are spread from person to person just as this was doing (Metos, 40). As the summer approached, the disease appeared to have stopped. The second wave was approaching very quickly. August 1918, the Surgeon General of the Army reported that the death rate from disease for American soldiers was almost 2/3 lower than the annual civilian males of the same age (Lindsay Radican). This was starting to become a big problem because they still had know idea what it was. Doctors cited pneumonia on the death certificates of those killed, because this was causing most deaths before this breakout (Lindsay Radican). Pneumonia usually killed young children and the elderly because their immune systems were not...

Bibliography: Metos, Thomas. "Communicable Diseases." A Grouer Company. 1987
Anderson, Madelyn. "Environmental Diseases." A Grouer Company. 1987
Murphy, Wendy. "Coping With The Common Cold." Time-Life Books. 1935
Retrieved on 5/5/2004. "The First Wave."
Radican, Lindsay. "The Forgotten Killer." Retrieved on 5/7/2004.
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