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Case Studies | Public Health | India | Volume 9 Issue 8, August 2020
A Case Study on the Spanish Flu 1918 - How it burrowed Into the City of New Orleans
Abstract: The influenza outbreak killed more people in New Orleans than had died even in the very worst yellow fever epidemics. How did the outbreak turn into this destructive form initially, health workers misjudged the virus' threat. Citizens have not heeded advice to stop public demonstrations, and have opted to attend parades and protests. Victims died instantly, often within hours following an illness. The advent of the ship represented New Orleans' first exposure of a disease that eventually killed at least 40 million people around the world ? and forced health care providers here and beyond to enforce the same kind of social distancing steps that officials have requested in the face of the current coronavirus threat: quarantine of the infected, quarantining those exposed to them, the prohibition of mass gatherings and public interactions. They acquire time to study, physicians, and hospitals to treat the current patients without comorbidities collapsing in the health care system, researchers to develop vaccines for others, and drug companies to generate and administer the vaccination. But New Orleans took longer than many other large U. S. cities in 1918 to begin implementing social distancing measures ? seven days after the local death rate rose on Oct.1. And New Orleans had their sanctions lifted fairly early: after 78 days. Social distancing may be the best solution if viewed purely from the viewpoint of public health, they say, but these are the decision-making government officials, and they have to calibrate public health, timing, economics, and common opinion. The epidemic that lasted until 1918-1919, is considered the deadliest pandemic in human history. Today, as the world is grinding to a halt in reaction to the coronavirus, the 1918 epidemic is being examined by scientists and historians as clues to the most successful way to avoid a global pandemic. The then-implemented attempts to curb the spread of flu, may gilessons for combating the curb the illness.
Keywords: Influenza Flu, New Orleans, Social distancing, pandemic, public health, coronavirus
Edition: Volume 9 Issue 8, August 2020,
Pages: 631 - 636