1918 Spanish Influenza

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key events -

  • June 1917

    • A draft is established to increase the number of soldiers; Army begins training recruits at 32 large camps, each housing 25,000 to 55,000 soldiers.

  • Timelineicon

  • March 1918

    • Outbreaks of flu-like illness are first detected in the United States.

    • More than 100 soldiers at Camp Funston in Fort Riley, Kansas become ill with flu. Within a week the number of flu cases quintuples.

    • Sporadic flu activity spreads unevenly through the United States, Europe, and possibly Asia over the next six months.

  • Timelineicon

  • April 1918

    • First mention of influenza appears in an April 5 weekly public health report. The report informs officials of 18 severe cases and three deaths in Haskell, Kansas.

  • Timelineicon

  • May 1918

    • By May, hundreds of thousands of soldiers travel across the Atlantic each month as they are deployed for World War I.


Saved Wikipedia Article on "Spanish Flu" (July 3 2020)

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Disease : Influenza / Virus strain : Strains of A/H1N1 / Location : Worldwide / First outbreak : Disputed

Date : February 1918 – April 1920

Suspected cases‡ : 500 million (estimate)[2] / Deaths : 17–50+ million (estimate)

The Spanish flu, also known as the 1918 flu pandemic, was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus. Lasting February 1918 to April 1920, it infected 500 million people–about a third of the world's population at the time–in four successive waves. The death toll may have been anything from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history.[3]

The first observations of illness and mortality were documented in the United States (in Fort Riley, Haskell County, Kansas as well as in New York City), France (Brest), Germany and the United Kingdom. To maintain morale, World War I censors minimized these early reports. Newspapers were free to report the epidemic's effects in neutral Spain, such as the grave illness of King Alfonso XIII, and these stories created a false impression of Spain as especially hard hit. This gave rise to the name "Spanish" flu. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify with certainty the pandemic's geographic origin, with varying views as to its location.

Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill the very young and the very old, with a higher survival rate for those in between, but the Spanish flu pandemic resulted in a higher than expected mortality rate for young adults.[4] Scientists offer several possible explanations for the high mortality rate of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Some analyses have shown the virus to be particularly deadly because it triggers a cytokine storm, which ravages the stronger immune system of young adults.[5] In contrast, a 2007 analysis of medical journals from the period of the pandemic found that the viral infection was no more aggressive than previous influenza strains.[6][7] Instead, malnourishment, overcrowded medical camps and hospitals, and poor hygiene, all exacerbated by the recent war, promoted bacterial superinfection. This superinfection killed most of the victims, typically after a somewhat prolonged death bed.[8][9]

The 1918 Spanish flu was the first of two pandemics caused by H1N1 influenza A virus; the second was the 2009 swine flu pandemic.[10]

name stems from the pandemic's spread to Spain from France in November 1918.[11][12] Spain was not involved in the war, having remained neutral, and had not imposed wartime censorship.[13][14] Newspapers were therefore free to report the epidemic's effects, such as the grave illness of King Alfonso XIII, and these widely-spread stories created a false impression of Spain as especially hard hit.[15]

Alternative names were also used at the time of the pandemic. Similar to the name of Spanish flu, many of these also alluded to the purported origins of the disease. In Senegal it was named 'the Brazilian flu', and in Brazil 'the German flu', while in Poland it was known as 'the Bolshevik disease'.[16] In Spain itself, the nickname for the flu, the "Naples Soldier", was adopted from a 1916 operetta, The Song of Forgetting (La canción del olvido) after one of the librettists quipped that the play's most popular musical number, Naples Soldier, was as catchy as the flu.[17]

Nearly a century after the Spanish flu struck in 1918–1920, the World Health Organization (WHO) called on scientists, national authorities and the media to follow best practices in naming new human infectious diseases to minimize unnecessary negative effects on nations, economies and people - this includes a recommendation to no longer name diseases after places.[18][19] More modern terms for this virus include the "1918 influenza pandemic," the "1918 flu pandemic," or variations of these.[20][21][22]

History - Timeline

First wave of early 1918

The pandemic is conventionally marked as having begun on 4 March 1918, with the recording of the case of Albert Gitchell, an army cook at Camp Funston in Kansas, United States, despite there likely having been cases before him.[23] The disease had been observed in Haskell County in January 1918, prompting local doctor Loring Miner to warn the US Public Health Service's academic journal.[24] Within days, 522 men at the camp had reported sick.[25] By 11 March 1918, the virus had reached Queens, New York.[26] Failure to take preventive measures in March/April was later criticised.[27]

As the US had entered World War I, the disease quickly spread from Camp Funston, a major training ground for troops of the American Expeditionary Forces, to other US Army camps and Europe, becoming an epidemic in the Midwest, East Coast, and French ports by April 1918, and reaching the Western Front by the middle of the month.[23] It then quickly spread to the rest of France, Great Britain, Italy, and Spain, and in May reached Wrocław and Odessa.[23] After the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Germany started releasing Russian prisoners of war who then brought the disease to their country.[28] It reached North Africa, India, and Japan in May, and soon after had likely gone around the world as there had been recorded cases in Southeast Asia in April.[29] In June an outbreak was reported in China.[30] After reaching Australia in July, the wave started to recede.[29]

The first wave of the flu lasted from the first quarter of 1918, and was relatively mild.[31] Mortality rates were not appreciably above normal;[32] in the United States ~75,000 flu-related deaths were reported in the first six months of 1918, compared to ~63,000 deaths during the same time period in 1915.[33] In Madrid, Spain, fewer than 1,000 people died from influenza between May and June 1918.[34] There were no reported quarantines during the first quarter of 1918. However, the first wave caused a significant disruption in the military operations of World War I, with three-quarters of French troops, half the British forces, and over 900,000 German soldiers sick.[35]

Seattle police wearing masks in December 1918

Deadly second wave of late 1918

The second wave began in the second half of August, probably spreading to Boston and Freetown, Sierra Leone by ships from Brest, where it had likely arrived with American troops or French recruits for naval training.[35] From the Boston Navy Yard and Camp Devens (later renamed Fort Devens), about 30 miles west of Boston, other U.S. military sites were soon afflicted, as were troops being transported to Europe.[36] Helped by troop movements, it spread over the next two months to all of North America, and then to Central and South America, also reaching Brazil and the Caribbean on ships.[37] From Freetown, the pandemic continued to spread through West Africa along the coast, rivers, and the colonial railways, and from railheads to more remote communities, while South Africa received it in September on ships bringing back members of the South African Native Labour Corps returning from France.[37] From there it spread around Southern Africa and beyond the Zambezi, reaching Ethiopia in November.[38]

From Europe the second wave swept through Russia in a southwest-northeast diagonal front, as well as being brought to Arkhangelsk by the North Russia intervention, and then spread throughout Asia following the Russian Civil War and the Trans-Siberian railway, reaching Iran (where it spread through the holy city of Mashhad), and then later India in September, as well as China and Japan in October.[39] The celebrations of the Armistice of 11 November 1918 also caused outbreaks in Lima and Nairobi, but by December the wave was mostly over.[40]

American Expeditionary Force victims of the Spanish flu at U.S. Army Camp Hospital no. 45 in Aix-les-Bains, France, in 1918

The second wave of the 1918 pandemic was much more deadly than the first. The first wave had resembled typical flu epidemics; those most at risk were the sick and elderly, while younger, healthier people recovered easily. October 1918 was the month with the highest fatality rate of the whole pandemic.[41]

Third wave of 1919

In January 1919 a third wave of the Spanish Flu hit Australia, where it killed 12,000 following the lifting of a maritime quarantine, and then spread quickly through Europe and the United States, where it lingered through the Spring and until June 1919.[42][43][44][40] It primarily affected Spain, Serbia, Mexico and Great Britain, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths.[45] It was less severe than the second wave but still much more deadly than the initial first wave. In the United States, isolated outbreaks occurred in some cities including Los Angeles,[46] New York City,[47] Memphis, Nashville, San Francisco and St. Louis.[48] Overall American mortality rates were in the tens of thousands during the first six months of 1919.[49]

Fourth wave of 1920

In spring 1920 a very minor fourth wave occurred in isolated areas including New York City,[47] the United Kingdom, Austria, Scandinavia, and some South American islands.[50] Peru experienced a late wave in early 1920, and Japan had one from late 1919 to 1920, with the last cases in March.[51]

American Red Cross nurses tend to flu patients in temporary wards set up inside Oakland Municipal Auditorium, 1918.

History - Potential origins

Despite its name, historical and epidemiological data cannot identify the geographic origin of the Spanish flu.[2] However, several theories have been proposed.

United States

The first confirmed cases originated in the United States. Historian Alfred W. Crosby stated in 2003 that the flu originated in Kansas,[52] and popular author John M. Barry described a January 1918 outbreak in Haskell County, Kansas, as the point of origin in his 2004 article.[5]

A 2018 study of tissue slides and medical reports led by evolutionary biology professor Michael Worobey found evidence against the disease originating from Kansas, as those cases were milder and had fewer deaths compared to the infections in New York City in the same time period. The study did find evidence through phylogenetic analyses that the virus likely had a North American origin, though it was not conclusive. In addition, the haemagglutinin glycoproteins of the virus suggest that it originated long before 1918, and other studies suggest that the reassortment of the H1N1 virus likely occurred in or around 1915.[53]


The major UK troop staging and hospital camp in Étaples in France has been theorized by virologist John Oxford as being at the center of the Spanish flu.[54] His study found that in late 1916 the Étaples camp was hit by the onset of a new disease with high mortality that caused symptoms similar to the flu.[55][54] According to Oxford, a similar outbreak occurred in March 1917 at army barracks in Aldershot,[56] and military pathologists later recognized these early outbreaks as the same disease as the 1918 flu.[57][54] The overcrowded camp and hospital was an ideal environment for the spread of a respiratory virus. The hospital treated thousands of victims of poison gas attacks, and other casualties of war, and 100,000 soldiers passed through the camp every day. It also was home to a piggery, and poultry was regularly brought in from surrounding villages to feed the camp. Oxford and his team postulated that a precursor virus, harbored in birds, mutated and then migrated to pigs kept near the front.[56][57]

A report published in 2016 in the Journal of the Chinese Medical Association found evidence that the 1918 virus had been circulating in the European armies for months and possibly years before the 1918 pandemic.[58] Political scientist Andrew Price-Smith published data from the Austrian archives suggesting the influenza began in Austria in early 1917.[59]


In 1993, Claude Hannoun, the leading expert on the 1918 flu at the Pasteur Institute, asserted the precursor virus was likely to have come from China and then mutated in the United States near Boston and from there spread to Brest, France, Europe's battlefields, the rest of Europe, and the rest of the world, with Allied soldiers and sailors as the main disseminators.[60] Hannoun considered several alternative hypotheses of origin, such as Spain, Kansas, and Brest, as being possible, but not likely.[60] In 2014, historian Mark Humphries argued that the mobilization of 96,000 Chinese laborers to work behind the British and French lines might have been the source of the pandemic. Humphries, of the Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's, based his conclusions on newly unearthed records. He found archival evidence that a respiratory illness that struck northern China (where the laborers came from) in November 1917 was identified a year later by Chinese health officials as identical to the Spanish flu.[61][62] However, no tissue samples have survived for modern comparison.[63] Nevertheless, there were some reports of respiratory illness on parts of the path the laborers took to get to Europe, which also passed through North America.[63]

One of the few regions of the world seemingly less affected by the 1918 flu pandemic was China, where several studies have documented a comparatively mild flu season in 1918.[64][65][66] (Although this is disputed due to lack of data during the Warlord Period, see Around the globe). This has led to speculation that the 1918 flu pandemic originated in China,[66][65][67][68] as the lower rates of flu mortality may be explained by the Chinese population's previously acquired immunity to the flu virus.[69][66][65]

A report published in 2016 in the Journal of the Chinese Medical Association found no evidence that the 1918 virus was imported to Europe via Chinese and Southeast Asian soldiers and workers and instead found evidence of its circulation in Europe before the pandemic.[58] The 2016 study suggested that the low flu mortality rate (an estimated one in a thousand) found among the Chinese and Southeast Asian workers in Europe meant that the deadly 1918 influenza pandemic could not have originated from those workers.[58] Further evidence against the disease being spread by Chinese workers was that workers entered Europe through other routes that did not result in a detectable spread, making them unlikely to have been the original hosts.[53]

Epidemiology and pathology - Transmission and mutation

As U.S. troops deployed en masse for the war effort in Europe, they carried the Spanish flu with them.

The basic reproduction number of the virus was between 2 and 3.[70] The close quarters and massive troop movements of World War I hastened the pandemic, and probably both increased transmission and augmented mutation. The war may also have reduced people's resistance to the virus. Some speculate the soldiers' immune systems were weakened by malnourishment, as well as the stresses of combat and chemical attacks, increasing their susceptibility.[71][72] A large factor in the worldwide occurrence of the flu was increased travel. Modern transportation systems made it easier for soldiers, sailors, and civilian travelers to spread the disease.[26] Another was lies and denial by governments, leaving the population ill-prepared to handle the outbreaks.[73]

The severity of the second wave has been attributed to the circumstances of the First World War.[74] In civilian life, natural selection favors a mild strain. Those who get very ill stay home, and those mildly ill continue with their lives, preferentially spreading the mild strain. In the trenches, natural selection was reversed. Soldiers with a mild strain stayed where they were, while the severely ill were sent on crowded trains to crowded field hospitals, spreading the deadlier virus. The second wave began, and the flu quickly spread around the world again. Consequently, during modern pandemics, health officials pay attention when the virus reaches places with social upheaval (looking for deadlier strains of the virus).[75] The fact that most of those who recovered from first-wave infections had become immune showed that it must have been the same strain of flu. This was most dramatically illustrated in Copenhagen, which escaped with a combined mortality rate of just 0.29% (0.02% in the first wave and 0.27% in the second wave) because of exposure to the less-lethal first wave.[76] For the rest of the population, the second wave was far more deadly; the most vulnerable people were those like the soldiers in the trenches – adults who were young and fit.[77]

After the lethal second wave struck in late 1918, new cases dropped abruptly – almost to nothing after the peak in the second wave.[78] In Philadelphia, for example, 4,597 people died in the week ending 16 October, but by 11 November, influenza had almost disappeared from the city. One explanation for the rapid decline in the lethality of the disease is that doctors became more effective in prevention and treatment of the pneumonia that developed after the victims had contracted the virus. However, John Barry stated in his 2004 book The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague In History that researchers have found no evidence to support this position.[5] Another theory holds that the 1918 virus mutated extremely rapidly to a less lethal strain. This is a common occurrence with influenza viruses: there is a tendency for pathogenic viruses to become less lethal with time, as the hosts of more dangerous strains tend to die out.[5] Some fatal cases did continue into March 1919, killing one player in the 1919 Stanley Cup Finals.

Epidemiology and pathology - Signs and symptoms

US Army symptomology of the flu.

The majority of the infected experienced only the typical flu symptoms of sore throat, headache, and fever, especially during the first wave.[79] However, during the second wave the disease was much more serious, often complicated by bacterial pneumonia, which was often the cause of death.[79] This more serious type would cause heliotrope cyanosis to develop, whereby the skin would first develop two mahogany spots over the cheekbones which would then over a few hours spread to color the entire face blue, followed by black coloration first in the extremities and then further spreading to the limbs and the torso.[79] After this, death would follow within hours or days due to the lungs being filled with fluids.[79] Other signs and symptoms reported included spontaneous mouth and nosebleeds, miscarriages for pregnant women, a peculiar smell, teeth and hair falling, delirium, dizziness, insomnia, loss of hearing or smell, blurred vision, and impaired color vision.[79] One observer wrote, "One of the most striking of the complications was hemorrhage from mucous membranes, especially from the nose, stomach, and intestine. Bleeding from the ears and petechial hemorrhages in the skin also occurred".[80] The severity of the symptoms was believed to be caused by cytokine storms.[81]

The majority of deaths were from bacterial pneumonia,[82][83][84] a common secondary infection associated with influenza. This pneumonia was itself caused by common upper respiratory-tract bacteria, which were able to get into the lungs via the damaged bronchial tubes of the victims.[85] The virus also killed people directly by causing massive hemorrhages and edema in the lungs.[86]Modern analysis has shown the virus to be particularly deadly because it triggers a cytokine storm (overreaction of the body's immune system).[5] One group of researchers recovered the virus from the bodies of frozen victims and transfected animals with it. The animals suffered rapidly progressive respiratory failure and death through a cytokine storm. The strong immune reactions of young adults were postulated to have ravaged the body, whereas the weaker immune reactions of children and middle-aged adults resulted in fewer deaths among those groups.[78][87]

Epidemiology and pathology - Misdiagnosis

Because the virus that caused the disease was too small to be seen under a microscope at the time, there were problems with correctly diagnosing it.[88] The bacterium haemophilus influenzae was instead mistakenly thought to be the cause, as it was big enough to be seen and was present in many, though not all, patients.[88] During the deadly second wave there were also fears that it was in fact plague, dengue fever, or cholera.[89] Another common misdiagnosis was typhus, which was common in circumstances of social upheaval, and was therefore also affecting Russia in the aftermath of the October Revolution.[89] In Chile, the view of the country's elite was that the nation was in severe decline, and therefore the assumption of doctors was that the disease was typhus caused by poor hygiene, and not an infectious one, causing a mismanaged response which did not ban mass gatherings.[89]

Response - Public health management

Coromandel Hospital Board (New Zealand) advice to influenza sufferers (1918)

While systems for alerting public health authorities of infectious spread did exist in 1918, they did not generally include influenza, leading to a delayed response.[90] Nevertheless, actions were taken. Maritime quarantines were declared on islands such as Iceland, Australia, and American Samoa, saving many lives.[90] Social distancing measures were introduced, for example closing schools, theatres, and places of worship, limiting public transportation, and banning mass gatherings.[91] Wearing face masks became common in some places, such as Japan, though there were debates over their efficacy.[91] There was also some resistance to their use, as exemplified by the Anti-Mask League of San Francisco. Vaccines were also developed, but as these were based on bacteria and not the actual virus, they could only help with secondary infections.[91] The actual enforcement of various restrictions varied.[92]

A later study found that measures such as banning mass gatherings and requiring the wearing of face masks could cut the death rate up to 50 percent, but this was dependent on them being imposed early in the outbreak and not being lifted prematurely.[93]

Response - Medical treatment

As there were no antiviral drugs to treat the virus, and no antibiotics to treat the secondary bacterial infections, doctors would rely on a random assortment of medicines with varying degrees of effectiveness, such as aspirin, quinine, arsenics, digitalis, strychnine, epsom salts, castor oil, and iodine.[94] Treatments of traditional medicine, such as bloodletting, ayurveda, and kampo were also applied.[95]

Response - Information dissemination

Due to World War I, many countries engaged in wartime censorship, and suppressed reporting of the pandemic.[96] For example, the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera was prohibited from reporting daily death tolls.[97] The newspapers of the time were also generally paternalistic and worried about mass panic.[97] Misinformation would also spread along the disease. In Ireland there was a belief that noxious gases were rising from the mass graves of Flanders Fields and being "blown all over the world by winds".[98] There were also beliefs that the Germans were behind it, for example by poisoning the aspirin manufactured by Bayer, or by releasing poison gas from U-boats.[99]


Around the globe

Difference between the influenza mortality age-distributions of the 1918 epidemic and normal epidemics – deaths per 100,000 persons in each age group, United States, for the interpandemic years 1911–1917 (dashed line) and the pandemic year 1918 (solid line)[100]

Three pandemic waves: weekly combined influenza and pneumonia mortality, United Kingdom, 1918–1919[101]

The Spanish flu infected around 500 million people, about one-third of the world's population.[2] Estimates as to how many infected people died vary greatly, but the flu is regardless considered to be one of the deadliest pandemics in history.[102][103] An estimate from 1991 states that the virus killed between 25 and 39 million people.[81] A 2005 estimate put the death toll at 50 million (about 3% of the global population), and possibly as high as 100 million (more than 5%).[80][104] However, a reassessment in 2018 estimated the total to be about 17 million,[105] though this has been contested.[106] With a world population of 1.8 to 1.9 billion,[107] these estimates correspond to between 1 and 6 percent of the population.

The disease killed in many parts of the world. Some 12-17 million people died in India, about 5% of the population.[108] The death toll in India's British-ruled districts was 13.88 million.[109] Another estimate gives at least 12 million dead.[110] The decade between 1911 and 1921 was the only census period in which India’s population fell, mostly due to devastation of the Spanish flu pandemic.[111][112]

In Finland, 20,000 died out of 210,000 infected.[113] In Sweden, 34,000 did.[114]

In Japan, 23 million people were affected, with at least 390,000 reported deaths.[115] In the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), 1.5 million were assumed to have died among 30 million inhabitants.[116] In Tahiti, 13% of the population died during one month. Similarly, in Western Samoa 22% of the population of 38,000 died within two months.[117]

In New Zealand, the flu killed an estimated 6,400 Pakeha and 2,500 indigenous Maori in six weeks, with Māori dying at eight times the rate of Pakeha.[118][119]

In the U.S., about 28% of the population of 105 million became infected, and 500,000 to 850,000 died (0.48 to 0.81 percent of the population).[120][121][122] Native American tribes were particularly hard hit. In the Four Corners area, there were 3,293 registered deaths among Native Americans.[123] Entire Inuit and Alaskan Native village communities died in Alaska.[124] In Canada, 50,000 died.[125]

In Brazil, 300,000 died, including president Rodrigues Alves.[126]

In Britain, as many as 250,000 died; in France, more than 400,000.[127]

In Ghana, the influenza epidemic killed at least 100,000 people.[128] Tafari Makonnen (the future Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia) was one of the first Ethiopians who contracted influenza but survived.[129][130] Many of his subjects did not; estimates for fatalities in the capital city, Addis Ababa, range from 5,000 to 10,000, or higher.[131]

The death toll in Russia has been estimated at 450,000, though the epidemiologists who suggested this number called it a "shot in the dark".[81] If it is correct, Russia lost roughly 0.4% of its population, meaning it suffered the lowest influenza-related mortality in Europe. Another study considers this number unlikely, given that the country was in the grip of a civil war, and the infrastructure of daily life had broken down; the study suggests that Russia's death toll was closer to 2%, or 2.7 million people.[132]

Devastated communities

A chart of deaths from all causes in major cities, showing a peak in October and November 1918

Even in areas where mortality was low, so many adults were incapacitated that much of everyday life was hampered. Some communities closed all stores or required customers to leave orders outside. There were reports that healthcare workers could not tend the sick nor the gravediggers bury the dead because they too were ill. Mass graves were dug by steam shovel and bodies buried without coffins in many places.[133]

Bristol Bay, a region of Alaska populated by indigenous people, suffered a death rate of 40 percent of the total population, with some villages entirely disappearing.[134]

Several Pacific island territories were hit particularly hard. The pandemic reached them from New Zealand, which was too slow to implement measures to prevent ships, such as the SS Talune, carrying the flu from leaving its ports. From New Zealand, the flu reached Tonga (killing 8% of the population), Nauru (16%), and Fiji (5%, 9,000 people).[135] Worst affected was Western Samoa, formerly German Samoa, which had been occupied by New Zealand in 1914. 90% of the population was infected; 30% of adult men, 22% of adult women, and 10% of children died. By contrast, Governor John Martin Poyer prevented the flu from reaching neighboring American Samoa by imposing a blockade.[135] The disease spread fastest through the higher social classes among the indigenous peoples, because of the custom of gathering oral tradition from chiefs on their deathbeds; many community elders were infected through this process.[136]

In Iran, the mortality was very high: according to an estimate, between 902,400 and 2,431,000, or 8% to 22% of the total population died.[137] The country was going through the Persian famine of 1917–1919 concurrently.

In Ireland, during the worst 12 months, the Spanish flu accounted for one-third of all deaths.[138][139]

In South Africa it is estimated that about 300,000 people amounting to 6% of the population died within six weeks. Government actions in the early stages of the virus' arrival in the country in September 1918 are believed to have unintentionally accelerated its spread throughout the country.[140] Almost a quarter of the working population of Kimberley, consisting of workers in the diamond mines, died.[141] In British Somaliland, one official estimated that 7% of the native population died.[142] This huge death toll resulted from an extremely high infection rate of up to 50% and the extreme severity of the symptoms, suspected to be caused by cytokine storms.[81]

Less-affected areas

In the Pacific, American Samoa[143] and the French colony of New Caledonia[144] also succeeded in preventing even a single death from influenza through effective quarantines. Australia also managed to avoid the first two waves with a quarantine.[90] Iceland protected a third of its population from exposure by blocking the main road of the island.[90] By the end of the pandemic, the isolated island of Marajó, in Brazil's Amazon River Delta had not reported an outbreak.[145] Saint Helena also reported no deaths.[146]

1919 Tokyo, Japan

Estimates for the death toll in China have varied widely,[147][81] a range which reflects the lack of centralized collection of health data at the time due to the Warlord period. China may have experienced a relatively mild flu season in 1918 compared to other areas of the world.[65][66][69][148] However, some reports from its interior suggest that mortality rates from influenza were perhaps higher in at least a few locations in China in 1918.[132] At the very least, there is little evidence that China as a whole was seriously affected by the flu compared to other countries in the world.[149]

The first estimate of the Chinese death toll was made in 1991 by Patterson and Pyle, which estimated China had a death toll of between 5 and 9 million. However, this 1991 study was subsequently criticized by later studies due to flawed methodology, and newer studies have published estimates of a far lower mortality rate in China.[64][150][65] For instance, Iijima in 1998 estimates the death toll in China to be between 1 and 1.28 million based on data available from Chinese port cities.[151] The lower estimates of the Chinese death toll are based on the low mortality rates that were found in Chinese port cities (for example, Hong Kong) and on the assumption that poor communications prevented the flu from penetrating the interior of China.[147] However, some contemporary newspaper and post office reports, as well as reports from missionary doctors, suggest that the flu did penetrate the Chinese interior and that influenza was severe in at least some locations in the countryside of China.[132] Although medical records from China's interior are lacking, there was extensive medical data recorded in Chinese port cities, such as then British-controlled Hong Kong, Canton, Peking, Harbin and Shanghai. This data was collected by the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, which was largely staffed by non-Chinese foreigners, such as the British, French, and other European colonial officials in China.[152] As a whole, accurate data from China's port cities show astonishingly low mortality rates compared to other cities in Asia.[152] For example, the British authorities at Hong Kong and Canton reported a mortality rate from influenza at a rate of 0.25% and 0.32%, much lower than the reported mortality rate of other cities in Asia, such as Calcutta or Bombay, where influenza was much more devastating.[152][65] Similarly, in the city of Shanghai – which had a population of over 2 million in 1918 – there were only 266 recorded deaths from influenza among the Chinese population in 1918.[152] If extrapolated from the extensive data recorded from Chinese cities, the suggested mortality rate from influenza in China as a whole in 1918 was likely lower than 1% – much lower than the world average (which was around 3–5%).[152] In contrast, Japan and Taiwan had reported a mortality rate from influenza around 0.45% and 0.69% respectively, higher than the mortality rate collected from data in Chinese port cities, such as Hong Kong (0.25%), Canton (0.32%), and Shanghai.[152]

Patterns of fatality

A nurse wears a cloth mask while treating a patient in Washington, DC

The pandemic mostly killed young adults. In 1918–1919, 99% of pandemic influenza deaths in the U.S. occurred in people under 65, and nearly half of deaths were in young adults 20 to 40 years old. In 1920, the mortality rate among people under 65 had decreased sixfold to half the mortality rate of people over 65, but 92% of deaths still occurred in people under 65.[153] This is unusual, since influenza is typically most deadly to weak individuals, such as infants under age two, adults over age 70, and the immunocompromised. In 1918, older adults may have had partial protection caused by exposure to the 1889–1890 flu pandemic, known as the "Russian flu".[154] According to historian John M. Barry, the most vulnerable of all – "those most likely, of the most likely", to die – were pregnant women. He reported that in thirteen studies of hospitalized women in the pandemic, the death rate ranged from 23% to 71%.[155] Of the pregnant women who survived childbirth, over one-quarter (26%) lost the child.[156]Another oddity was that the outbreak was widespread in the summer and autumn (in the Northern Hemisphere); influenza is usually worse in winter.[157]

There were also geographic patterns to the disease's fatality. Some parts of Asia had 30 times higher death rates than some parts of Europe, and generally Africa and Asia had higher rates, while Europe, North America, and Asia had lower ones.[158] There was also great variation within continents, with three times higher mortality in Hungary and Spain compared to Denmark, two to three times higher chance of death in Sub-Saharan Africa compared to North Africa, and possibly up to ten times higher rates between the extremes of Asia.[158] Cities were affected worse than rural areas.[158] There were also differences between cities, which might have reflected exposure to the milder first wave giving immunity, as well as the introduction of social distancing measures.[159]

Another major pattern was that of differences between social classes. In Oslo, death rates were inversely correlated with apartment size, as the poorer people living in smaller apartments died at a higher rate.[160] Social status was also reflected in the higher mortality among immigrant communities, with Italian Americans, a recently arrived group at the time, were nearly twice as likely to die compared to the average Americans.[158] These disparities reflected worse diets, crowded living conditions, and problems accessing healthcare.[158] Paradoxically however, African Americans were relatively spared by the pandemic.[158]

More men than women were killed by the flu, as they were more likely to go out and be exposed, while women would tend to stay at home.[159] For the same reason men also were more likely to have pre-existing tuberculosis, which severely worsened the chances of recovery.[159] However, in India the opposite was true, potentially because Indian women were neglected with poorer nutrition, and were expected to care for the sick.[159]

A study conducted by He et al. (2011) used a mechanistic modeling approach to study the three waves of the 1918 influenza pandemic. They examined the factors that underlie variability in temporal patterns and their correlation to patterns of mortality and morbidity. Their analysis suggests that temporal variations in transmission rate provide the best explanation, and the variation in transmission required to generate these three waves is within biologically plausible values.[161] Another study by He et al. (2013) used a simple epidemic model incorporating three factors to infer the cause of the three waves of the 1918 influenza pandemic. These factors were school opening and closing, temperature changes throughout the outbreak, and human behavioral changes in response to the outbreak. Their modeling results showed that all three factors are important, but human behavioral responses showed the most significant effects.[162]


World War I

Academic Andrew Price-Smith has made the argument that the virus helped tip the balance of power in the latter days of the war towards the Allied cause. He provides data that the viral waves hit the Central Powers before the Allied powers and that both morbidity and mortality in Germany and Austria were considerably higher than in Britain and France.[59]


Alberta's provincial board of health poster

Many businesses in the entertainment and service industries suffered losses in revenue, while the healthcare industry reported profit gains.[163] Historian Nancy Bristow has argued that the pandemic, when combined with the increasing number of women attending college, contributed to the success of women in the field of nursing. This was due in part to the failure of medical doctors, who were predominantly men, to contain and prevent the illness. Nursing staff, who were mainly women, celebrated the success of their patient care and did not associate the spread of the disease with their work.[164]

A 2020 study found that US cities that implemented early and extensive non-medical measures (quarantine etc.) suffered no additional adverse economic effects due to implementing those measures,[165] when compared with cities that implemented measures late or not at all.[166]

Long-term effects

A 2006 study in the Journal of Political Economy found that "cohorts in utero during the pandemic displayed reduced educational attainment, increased rates of physical disability, lower income, lower socioeconomic status, and higher transfer payments received compared with other birth cohorts."[167] A 2018 study found that the pandemic reduced educational attainment in populations.[168] The flu has also been linked to the outbreak of encephalitis lethargica in the 1920s.[169]


Despite the high morbidity and mortality rates that resulted from the epidemic, the Spanish flu began to fade from public awareness over the decades until the arrival of news about bird flu and other pandemics in the 1990s and 2000s.[170] This has led some historians to label the Spanish flu a "forgotten pandemic".[52]

1918 influenza epidemic burial site in Auckland, New Zealand

There are various theories of why the Spanish flu was "forgotten". The rapid pace of the pandemic, which, for example, killed most of its victims in the United States within less than nine months, resulted in limited media coverage. The general population was familiar with patterns of pandemic disease in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: typhoid, yellow fever, diphtheria and cholera all occurred near the same time. These outbreaks probably lessened the significance of the influenza pandemic for the public.[171] In some areas, the flu was not reported on, the only mention being that of advertisements for medicines claiming to cure it.[172]

Additionally, the outbreak coincided with the deaths and media focus on the First World War.[173] Another explanation involves the age group affected by the disease. The majority of fatalities, from both the war and the epidemic, were among young adults. The number of war-related deaths of young adults may have overshadowed the deaths caused by flu.[153]

When people read the obituaries, they saw the war or postwar deaths and the deaths from the influenza side by side. Particularly in Europe, where the war's toll was high, the flu may not have had a tremendous psychological impact or may have seemed an extension of the war's tragedies.[153] The duration of the pandemic and the war could have also played a role. The disease would usually only affect a particular area for a month before leaving[citation needed]. The war, however, had initially been expected to end quickly but lasted for four years by the time the pandemic struck.

In 2019, the first dedicated monument to the memory of the pandemic was unveiled in Wiesloch in Germany.[174]

  • [...]

Comparison with other pandemics

This flu killed more people in 24 weeks than HIV/AIDS killed in 24 years.[78] However, it killed a much lower percentage of the world's population than the Black Death, which lasted for many more years.[175]Notes

  1. ^ Not necessarily pandemic, but included for comparison purposes.


Main article: Spanish flu research .. see next ..

An electron micrograph showing recreated 1918 influenza virions

The origin of the Spanish flu pandemic, and the relationship between the near-simultaneous outbreaks in humans and swine, have been controversial. One hypothesis is that the virus strain originated at Fort Riley, Kansas, in viruses in poultry and swine which the fort bred for food; the soldiers were then sent from Fort Riley around the world, where they spread the disease.[197] Similarities between a reconstruction of the virus and avian viruses, combined with the human pandemic preceding the first reports of influenza in swine, led researchers to conclude the influenza virus jumped directly from birds to humans, and swine caught the disease from humans.[198][199] Others have disagreed,[200] and more recent research has suggested the strain may have originated in a nonhuman, mammalian species.[201] An estimated date for its appearance in mammalian hosts has been put at the period 1882–1913.[202] This ancestor virus diverged about 1913–1915 into two clades (or biological groups), which gave rise to the classical swine and human H1N1 influenza lineages. The last common ancestor of human strains dates to between February 1917 and April 1918. Because pigs are more readily infected with avian influenza viruses than are humans, they were suggested as the original recipients of the virus, passing the virus to humans sometime between 1913 and 1918.

At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Terrence Tumpey examines a reconstructed version of the 1918 flu.

An effort to recreate the 1918 flu strain (a subtype of avian strain H1N1) was a collaboration among the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, the USDA ARS Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. The effort resulted in the announcement (on 5 October 2005) that the group had successfully determined the virus's genetic sequence, using historic tissue samples recovered by pathologist Johan Hultin from an Inuit female flu victim buried in the Alaskan permafrost and samples preserved from American soldiers[203] Roscoe Vaughan and James Downs.[204][205]

On 18 January 2007, Kobasa et al. (2007) reported that monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) infected with the recreated flu strain exhibited classic symptoms of the 1918 pandemic, and died from cytokine storms[206] – an overreaction of the immune system. This may explain why the 1918 flu had its surprising effect on younger, healthier people, as a person with a stronger immune system would potentially have a stronger overreaction.[207]

On 16 September 2008, the body of British politician and diplomat Sir Mark Sykes was exhumed to study the RNA of the flu virus in efforts to understand the genetic structure of modern H5N1 bird flu. Sykes had been buried in 1919 in a lead coffin which scientists hoped had helped preserve the virus.[208] The coffin was found to be split and the cadaver badly decomposed; nonetheless, samples of lung and brain tissue were taken.[209]

In December 2008, research by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin linked the presence of three specific genes (termed PA, PB1, and PB2) and a nucleoprotein derived from 1918 flu samples to the ability of the flu virus to invade the lungs and cause pneumonia. The combination triggered similar symptoms in animal testing.[210]

In June 2010, a team at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine reported the 2009 flu pandemic vaccine provided some cross-protection against the 1918 flu pandemic strain.[211]

One of the few things known for certain about the influenza in 1918 and for some years after was that it was, except in the laboratory, exclusively a disease of human beings.[212]

In 2013, the AIR Worldwide Research and Modeling Group "characterized the historic 1918 pandemic and estimated the effects of a similar pandemic occurring today using the AIR Pandemic Flu Model". In the model, "a modern day 'Spanish flu' event would result in additional life insurance losses of between US$15.3–27.8 billion in the United States alone", with 188,000–337,000 deaths in the United States.[213]

In 2018, Michael Worobey, an evolutionary biology professor at the University of Arizona who is examining the history of the 1918 pandemic, revealed that he obtained tissue slides created by William Rolland, a physician who reported on a respiratory illness likely to be the virus while a pathologist in the British military during World War One.[214] Rolland had authored an article in the Lancet during 1917 about a respiratory illness outbreak beginning in 1916 in Étaples, France.[215][216] Worobey traced recent references to that article to family members who had retained slides that Rolland had prepared during that time. Worobey extracted tissue from the slides to potentially reveal more about the origin of the pathogen.[citation needed]

Saved Wikipedia Article on "Spanish Flu Research" (July 3 2020)

See [HK0026][GDrive]

Spanish flu research concerns scientific research regarding the causes and characteristics of the "Spanish flu," a variety of influenza that in 1918 was responsible for the worst influenza pandemic in modern history. Many theories about the origins and progress of the Spanish flu persisted in the literature, but it was not until 2005, when various samples were recovered from American World War I soldiers and an Inuit woman buried in the Alaskan tundra, that significant research was made possible.

Origin of virus

There are two prevailing theories usually postulated.[citation needed] One theory by Alfred W. Crosby is that the virus strain originated at Fort Riley, Kansas, by two genetic mechanisms – genetic drift and antigenic shift – in viruses in poultry and swine which the fort bred for local consumption. Though initial data from a recent reconstruction of the virus suggested that it jumped directly from birds to humans, without traveling through swine,[a] this has since been cast into doubt. One researcher published in 2004 argued that the disease was found in Haskell County, Kansas, as early as January 1918.[2] A similar and even more deadly virus had been seen earlier at British camps in France and at Aldershot.[3]

Earlier investigative work published in 2000 by a team led by British virologist, John Oxford[4] of St Bartholomew's Hospital and the Royal London Hospital, suggested that a principal British troop staging camp in Étaples, France, was at the center of the 1918 flu pandemic or at least a significant precursor virus to it. There had been a mysterious respiratory infection at the military base during the winter of 1915–1916.[5]

Discovery of viral genomes

Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger and Dr. Ann Reid reviewing a genetic sequence from the 1918 Spanish flu virus.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as Dr. Terrence Tumpey examines a reconstructed version of the 1918 flu.

In February 1997, Johan Hultin recovered samples of the 1918 influenza from the frozen corpse of a Native Alaskan woman buried for nearly eight decades in permafrost near Brevig Mission, Alaska.[6] He brought the samples to a team[where?] led by Jeffery Taubenberger of the US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP). Brevig Mission lost approximately 85% of its population to the 1918 flu in November 1918. One of the four recovered samples contained viable genetic material of the virus. This sample provided scientists a first-hand opportunity to study the virus, which was inactivated with guanidinium thiocyanate before transport. This sample and others found in AFIP archives allowed researchers to completely analyze the critical gene structures of the 1918 virus.

"We have now identified three cases: The Brevig Mission case and two archival cases that represent the only known sources of genetic material of the 1918 influenza virus," said Taubenberger, chief of AFIP's molecular pathology division and principal investigator on the project.[7][b]

The archived autopsy samples had been taken from WWI Army privates Roscoe Vaughan and James Downs.[9]

Wikinews has related news:

The 6 February 2004 edition of Science magazine reported that two research teams, one led by Sir John Skehel, director of the National Institute for Medical Research in London, another by professor Ian Wilson of The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, had managed to synthesize the hemagglutinin protein responsible for the flu outbreak of 1918. They did this by piecing together DNA from a lung sample from an Inuit woman buried in the Alaskan tundra and a number of preserved samples from American soldiers of the First World War. The teams had analyzed the structure of the gene and discovered how subtle alterations to the shape of a protein molecule had allowed it to move from birds to humans with such devastating effects.

On 5 October 2005, Tumpey and other researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, announced that the (~13 kbp) genetic sequence of the 1918 flu strain, a subtype of avian strain H1N1, had been reconstructed using historic tissue samples and a small part of the RNA from a modern strain.[10][11][12]

Characteristics of virus

Influenza viruses have a relatively high mutation rate that is characteristic of RNA viruses. The H5N1 virus has mutated into a variety of types with differing pathogenic profiles; some pathogenic to one species but not others, some pathogenic to multiple species.[13] The ability of various influenza strains to show species-selectivity is largely due to variation in the hemagglutinin genes. Genetic mutations in the hemagglutinin gene that cause single amino acid substitutions can significantly alter the ability of viral hemagglutinin proteins to bind to receptors on the surface of host cells. Such mutations in avian H5N1 viruses can change virus strains from being inefficient at infecting human cells to being as efficient in causing human infections as more common human influenza virus types.[14]

In July 2004, researchers led by H. Deng of the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Harbin, China, and Robert Webster of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, reported results of experiments in which mice had been exposed to 21 isolates of confirmed H5N1 strains obtained from ducks in China between 1999 and 2002. They found "a clear temporal pattern of progressively increasing pathogenicity."[15] Results reported by Webster in July 2005 reveal further progression toward pathogenicity in mice and longer virus shedding by ducks.

In December 2008, research by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of University of Wisconsin showed the presence of the three specific genes (termed PA, PB1, and PB2) and a nucleoprotein derived from the H1N1 1918 flu samples was enough to trigger similar symptoms in animal testing.[16]

Research of viral pathogenesis

Recent research of Taubenberger et al. has suggested that the 1918 virus, like H5N1, could have arisen directly from an avian influenza virus.[11] However, researchers at University of Virginia and Australian National University have suggested that there may be an alternative interpretation of the data used in the Taubenberger et al. paper.[17][18] Taubenberger et al. responded to these letters and defended their original interpretation.[19]

Other research by Tumpey and colleagues who reconstructed the H1N1 virus of 1918 came to the conclusion that it was most notably the polymerase genes and the HA and NA genes that caused the extreme virulence of this virus.[12] On 18 January 2007, Kobasa et al. reported that infected monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) exhibited classic symptoms of the 1918 pandemic and died from a cytokine storm.[20]

The sequences of the polymerase proteins (PA, PB1, and PB2) of the 1918 virus and subsequent human viruses differ by only 10 amino acids from the avian influenza viruses. Viruses with 7 of the 10 amino acids in the human influenza locations have already been identified in currently circulating H5N1. This has led some researchers to suggest that other mutations may surface and make the H5N1 virus capable of human-to-human transmission.

Another important factor is the change of the HA protein to a binding preference for alpha-2,6 sialic acid (the major form found in the human respiratory tract). In avian virus the HA protein preferentially binds to alpha-2,3 sialic acid, which is the major form in the avian enteric tract. It has been shown that only a single amino acid change can result in the change of this binding preference. Altogether, only a handful of mutations may need to take place in order for H5N1 avian flu to become a pandemic virus like the one of 1918. However it is important to note that likelihood of mutation does not indicate the likelihood for the evolution of such a strain, since some of the necessary mutations may be constrained by stabilizing selection.

Blood plasma as an effective treatment

In the event of another pandemic, US military researchers have proposed reusing a treatment from the deadly pandemic of 1918 in order to blunt the effects of the flu: Some military doctors injected severely afflicted patients with blood or blood plasma from people who had recovered from the flu. Data collected during that time indicates that the blood-injection treatment reduced mortality rates by as much as 50 percent.[21]

Navy researchers have launched a test to see if the 1918 treatment will work against deadly Asian bird flu. Results thus far have been inconclusive.[citation needed] Human H5N1 plasma may be an effective, timely, and widely available treatment for the next flu pandemic.[citation needed] A new international study using modern data collection methods, would be a difficult, slow process. Citing the months-long wait for a vaccine for the next pandemic, many flu experts are of the opinion that the 1918 method is something to consider.[22]

In the worldwide 1918 flu pandemic, "physicians tried everything they knew, everything they had ever heard of, from the ancient art of bleeding patients, to administering oxygen, to developing new vaccines and sera (chiefly against what we now call Hemophilus influenzae – a name derived from the fact that it was originally considered the etiological agent – and several types of pneumococci). Only one therapeutic measure showed any hint of success: Transfusing blood from recovered patients to new victims."[23]

2018 Article - "Part 1 : Did a Military Experimental Vaccine in 1918 Kill 50-100 Million People Blamed as Spanish Flu?" , From "First Freedoms Inc.", Distributed on "VaccineImpact dot com"

See [HW002Z][GDrive]

by Kevin Barry, President : First Freedoms, Inc.

NOTE - the following is from FreePress,org at [HW0031][GDrive]

The “Spanish Flu” killed an estimated 50-100 million people during a pandemic 1918-19. What if the story we have been told about this pandemic isn’t true?

What if, instead, the killer infection was neither the flu nor Spanish in origin?

Newly analyzed documents reveal that the “Spanish Flu” may have been a military vaccine experiment gone awry.

In looking back on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, we need to delve deeper to solve this mystery.


  • The reason modern technology has not been able to pinpoint the killer influenza strain from this pandemic is because influenza was not the killer.

  • More soldiers died during WWI from disease than from bullets.

  • The pandemic was not flu. An estimated 95% (or higher) of the deaths were caused by bacterial pneumonia, not influenza/a virus.

  • The pandemic was not Spanish. The first cases of bacterial pneumonia in 1918 trace back to a military base in Fort Riley, Kansas.

  • From January 21 – June 4, 1918, an experimental bacterial meningitis vaccine cultured in horses by the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York was injected into soldiers at Fort Riley.

  • During the remainder of 1918 as those soldiers – often living and traveling under poor sanitary conditions – were sent to Europe to fight, they spread bacteria at every stop between Kansas and the frontline trenches in France.

  • One study describes soldiers “with active infections (who) were aerosolizing the bacteria that colonized their noses and throats, while others—often, in the same “breathing spaces”—were profoundly susceptible to invasion of and rapid spread through their lungs by their own or others’ colonizing bacteria.” (1)

  • The “Spanish Flu” attacked healthy people in their prime. Bacterial pneumonia attacks people in their prime. Flu attacks the young, old and immunocompromised.

  • When WW1 ended on November 11, 1918, soldiers returned to their home countries and colonial outposts, spreading the killer bacterial pneumonia worldwide.

  • During WW1, the Rockefeller Institute also sent the antimeningococcic serum to England, France, Belgium, Italy and other countries, helping spread the epidemic worldwide.

During the pandemic of 1918-19, the so-called “Spanish Flu” killed 50-100 million people, including many soldiers.

Many people do not realize that disease killed far more soldiers on all sides than machine guns or mustard gas or anything else typically associated with WWI.

I have a personal connection to the Spanish Flu. Among those killed by disease in 1918-19 are members of both of my parents’ families.

On my father’s side, his grandmother Sadie Hoyt died from pneumonia in 1918. Sadie was a Chief Yeoman in the Navy. Her death left my grandmother Rosemary and her sister Anita to be raised by their aunt. Sadie’s sister Marian also joined the Navy. She died from “the influenza” in 1919.

On my mother’s side, two of her father’s sisters died in childhood. All of the family members who died lived in New York City.

I suspect many American families, and many families worldwide, were impacted in similar ways by the mysterious Spanish Flu.

In 1918, “influenza” or flu was a catchall term for disease of unknown origin. It didn’t carry the specific meaning it does today.

It meant some mystery disease which dropped out of the sky. In fact, influenza is from the Medieval Latin “influential” in an astrological sense, meaning a visitation under the influence of the stars.


Between 1900-1920, there were enormous efforts underway in the industrialized world to build a better society. I will use New York as an example to discuss three major changes to society which occurred in NY during that time and their impact on mortality from infectious diseases.

1. Clean Water and Sanitation

In the late 19th century through the early 20th century, New York built an extraordinary system to bring clean water to the city from the Catskills, a system still in use today. New York City also built over 6000 miles of sewer to take away and treat waste, which protects the drinking water. The World Health Organization acknowledges the importance of clean water and sanitation in combating infectious diseases. (2)

2. Electricity

In the late 19th century through the early 20th century, New York built a power grid and wired the city so power was available in every home. Electricity allows for refrigeration. Refrigeration is an unsung hero as a public health benefit. When food is refrigerated from farm to table, the public is protected from potential infectious diseases. Cheap renewable energy is important for many reasons, including combating infectious diseases.

3. Pharmaceutical

In the late 19th century through the early 20th century, New York became the home of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now Rockefeller University). The Institute is where the modern pharmaceutical industry was born. The Institute pioneered many of the approaches the pharmaceutical industry uses today, including the preparation of vaccine serums, for better or worse. The vaccine used in the Fort Riley experiment on soldiers was made in horses.

US Mortality Rates data from the turn of the 20th century to 1965 clearly indicates that clean water, flushing toilets, effective sewer systems and refrigerated foods all combined to effectively reduce mortality from infectious diseases BEFORE vaccines for those diseases became available.

Have doctors and the pharmaceutical manufacturers taken credit for reducing mortality from infectious disease which rightfully belongs to sandhogs, plumbers, electricians and engineers?

If hubris at the Rockefeller Institute in 1918 led to a pandemic disease which killed millions of people, what lessons can we learn and apply to 2018?


While watching an episode of American Experience on PBS a few months ago, I was surprised to hear that the first cases of “Spanish Flu” occurred at Fort Riley, Kansas in 1918. I thought, how is it possible this historically important event could be so badly misnamed 100 years ago and never corrected?

Why “Spanish”?

Spain was one of a few countries not involved in World War I. Most of the countries involved in the war censored their press.

Free from censorship concerns, the earliest press reports of people dying from disease in large numbers came from Spain. The warring countries did not want to additionally frighten the troops, so they were content to scapegoat Spain. Soldiers on all sides would be asked to cross no man’s land into machine gun fire, which was frightening enough without knowing that the trenches were a disease breeding ground.

One hundred years later, it’s long past time to drop “Spanish” from all discussion of this pandemic. If the flu started at a United States military base in Kansas, then the disease could and should be more aptly named.

In order to prevent future disasters, the US (and the rest of the world) must take a hard look at what really caused the pandemic.

It is possible that one of the reasons the Spanish Flu has never been corrected is that it helps disguise the origin of the pandemic.

If the origin of the pandemic involved a vaccine experiment on US soldiers, then the US may prefer calling it Spanish Flu instead of The Fort Riley Bacteria of 1918, or something similar. The Spanish Flu started at the location this experimental bacterial vaccine was given making it the prime suspect as the source of the bacterial infections which killed so many.

It would be much more difficult to maintain the marketing mantra of “vaccines save lives” if a vaccine experiment originating in the United States during the years of primitive manufacturing caused the deaths of 50-100 million people.

“Vaccines save lives … except we may have killed 50-100 million people in 1918-19” is a far less effective sales slogan than the overly simplistic “vaccines save lives.”


During the mid-2000’s there was much talk about “pandemic preparedness.” Influenza vaccine manufacturers in the United States received billions of taxpayer dollars to develop vaccines to make sure that we don’t have another lethal pandemic “flu,” like the one in 1918-19.

Capitalizing on the “flu” part of Spanish flu helped vaccine manufacturers procure billion dollar checks from governments, even though scientists knew at the time that bacterial pneumonia was the real killer.

It is not my opinion that bacterial pneumonia was the real killer – thousands of autopsies confirm this fact.

According to a 2008 National Institute of Health paper, bacterial pneumonia was the killer in a minimum of 92.7% of the 1918-19 autopsies reviewed. It is likely higher than 92.7%.

The researchers looked at more than 9000 autopsies, and “there were no negative (bacterial) lung culture results.”

“… In the 68 higher-quality autopsy series, in which the possibility of unreported negative cultures could be excluded, 92.7% of autopsy lung cultures were positive for ≥1 bacterium. … in one study of approximately 9000 subjects who were followed from clinical presentation with influenza to resolution or autopsy, researchers obtained, with sterile technique, cultures of either pneumococci or streptococci from 164 of 167 lung tissue samples.

There were 89 pure cultures of pneumococci; 19 cultures from which only streptococci were recovered; 34 that yielded mixtures of pneumococci and/or streptococci; 22 that yielded a mixture of pneumococci, streptococci, and other organisms (prominently pneumococci and nonhemolytic streptococci); and 3 that yielded nonhemolytic streptococci alone. There were no negative lung culture results.” (3)

Pneumococci or streptococci were found in “164 of (the) 167 lung tissue samples” autopsied. That is 98.2%. Bacteria was the killer.


When the United States declared war in April 1917, the fledgling Pharmaceutical industry had something they had never had before – a large supply of human test subjects in the form of the US military’s first draft.

Pre-war in 1917, the US Army was 286,000 men. Post-war in 1920, the US army disbanded, and had 296,000 men.

During the war years 1918-19, the US Army ballooned to 6,000,000 men, with 2,000,000 men being sent overseas. The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research took advantage of this new pool of human guinea pigs to conduct vaccine experiments.

" A REPORT ON ANTIMENINGITIS VACCINATION AND OBSERVATIONS ON AGGLUTININS IN THE BLOOD OF CHRONIC MENINGOCOCCUS CARRIERS by Frederick L. Gates (From the Base Hospital, Fort Riley, Kansas, and The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, New York. / Received 1918 Jul 20 ) " See [HG005A][GDrive]

(Author note: Please read this Fort Riley paper in its entirety so you can appreciate the carelessness of the experiments conducted on these troops.)

Between January 21st and June 4th of 1918, []reports on an experiment where soldiers were given 3 doses of a bacterial meningitis vaccine. Those conducting the experiment on the soldiers were just spitballing dosages of a vaccine serum made in horses.

The vaccination regime was designed to be 3 doses. 4,792 men received the first dose, but only 4,257 got the 2nd dose (down 11%), and only 3702 received all three doses (down 22.7%).

A total of 1,090 men were not there for the 3rd dose. What happened to these soldiers? Were they shipped East by train from Kansas to board a ship to Europe? Were they in the Fort Riley hospital? [The report from [Dr. Frederick Lamont Gates (born 1886)] report doesn’t tell us.

An article accompanying the American Experience broadcast I watched sheds some light on where these 1,090 men might be. [Dr. Frederick Lamont Gates (born 1886)] began his experiments in January 1918.

By March of that year, “100 men a day” were entering the infirmary at Fort Riley.

Are some of these the men missing from Dr. Gates’ report – the ones who did not get the 2nd or 3rd dose?

“… Shortly before breakfast on Monday, March 11, the first domino would fall signaling the commencement of the first wave of the 1918 influenza.

Company cook Albert Gitchell reported to the camp infirmary with complaints of a “bad cold.”

Right behind him came Corporal Lee W. Drake voicing similar complaints.

By noon, camp surgeon Edward R. Schreiner had over 100 sick men on his hands, all apparently suffering from the same malady…” (5)

[Dr. Frederick Lamont Gates (born 1886)] does report that several of the men in the experiment had flu-like symptoms: coughs, vomiting and diarrhea after receiving the vaccine.

These symptoms are a disaster for men living in barracks, travelling on trains to the Atlantic coast, sailing to Europe, and living and fighting in trenches.

The unsanitary conditions at each step of the journey are an ideal environment for a contagious disease like bacterial pneumonia to spread.

From Dr. Gates’ report:

“Reactions.– … Several cases of looseness of the bowels or transient diarrhea were noted. This symptom had not been encountered before. Careful inquiry in individual cases often elicited the information that men who complained of the effects of vaccination were suffering from mild coryza, bronchitis, etc., at the time of injection.”

“Sometimes the reaction was initiated by a chill or chilly sensation, and a number of men complained of fever or feverish sensations during the following night.

Next in frequency came nausea (occasionally vomiting), dizziness, and general “aches and pains” in the joints and muscles, which in a few instances were especially localized in the neck or lumbar region, causing stiff neck or stiff back. A few injections were followed by diarrhea.

The reactions, therefore, occasionally simulated the onset of epidemic meningitis and several vaccinated men were sent as suspects to the Base Hospital for diagnosis.”(4)

According to [Dr. Frederick Lamont Gates (born 1886)], they injected random dosages of an experimental bacterial meningitis vaccine into soldiers. Afterwards, some of the soldiers had symptoms which “simulated” meningitis, but Dr. Gates advances the fantastical claim that it wasn’t actual meningitis.

The soldiers developed flu-like symptoms. Bacterial meningitis, then and now, is known to mimic flu-like symptoms. (6)

Perhaps the similarity of early symptoms of bacterial meningitis and bacterial pneumonia to symptoms of flu is why the vaccine experiments at Fort Riley have been able to escape scrutiny as a potential cause of the Spanish Flu for 100 years and counting.


There is an element of a perfect storm in how the [Dr. Frederick Lamont Gates (born 1886)] bacteria spread. WWI ended only 10 months after the first injections. Unfortunately for the 50-100 million who died, those soldiers injected with horse-infused bacteria moved quickly during those 10 months.

An article from 2008 on the CDC’s website describes how sick WWI soldiers could pass along the bacteria to others by becoming “cloud adults.”

“Finally, for brief periods and to varying degrees, affected hosts became “cloud adults” who increased the aerosolization of colonizing strains of bacteria, particularly pneumococci, hemolytic streptococci, H. influenzae, and S. aureus.

For several days during local epidemics—particularly in crowded settings such as hospital wards, military camps, troop ships, and mines (and trenches)—some persons were immunologically susceptible to, infected with, or recovering from infections with influenza virus.

Persons with active infections were aerosolizing the bacteria that colonized their noses and throats, while others—often, in the same “breathing spaces”—were profoundly susceptible to invasion of and rapid spread through their lungs by their own or others’ colonizing bacteria.” (1)

Three times in his report on the Fort Riley vaccine experiment, [Dr. Frederick Lamont Gates (born 1886)] states that some soldiers had a “severe reaction” indicating “an unusual individual susceptibility to the vaccine”.

While the vaccine made many sick, it only killed those who were susceptible to it. Those who became sick and survived became “cloud adults” who spread the bacteria to others, which created more cloud adults, spreading to others where it killed the susceptible, repeating the cycle until there were no longer wartime unsanitary conditions, and there were no longer millions of soldiers to experiment on.

The toll on US troops was enormous and it is well documented. Dr. Carol Byerly describes how the “influenza” traveled like wildfire through the US military. (substitute “bacteria” for Dr. Byerly’s “influenza” or “virus”):

“… Fourteen of the largest training camps had reported influenza outbreaks in March, April, or May, and some of the infected troops carried the virus with them aboard ships to France …

As soldiers in the trenches became sick, the military evacuated them from the front lines and replaced them with healthy men.

This process continuously brought the virus into contact with new hosts—young, healthy soldiers in which it could adapt, reproduce, and become extremely virulent without danger of burning out.

… Before any travel ban could be imposed, a contingent of replacement troops departed Camp Devens (outside of Boston) for Camp Upton, Long Island, the Army’s debarkation point for France, and took influenza with them.

Medical officers at Upton said it arrived “abruptly” on September 13, 1918, with 38 hospital admissions, followed by 86 the next day, and 193 the next.

Hospital admissions peaked on October 4 with 483, and within 40 days, Camp Upton sent 6,131 men to the hospital for influenza. Some developed pneumonia so quickly that physicians diagnosed it simply by observing the patient rather than listening to the lungs…” (7)

The United States was not the only country in possession of the Rockefeller Institute’s experimental bacterial vaccine.

A 1919 report from the Institute states: “Reference should be made that before the United States entered the war (in April 1917) the Institute had resumed the preparation of antimeningococcic serum, in order to meet the requests of England, France, Belgium Italy and other countries.”

The same report states: “In order to meet the suddenly increased demand for the curative serums worked out at the Institute, a special stable for horses was quickly erected …” (8)

An experimental antimeningoccic serum made in horses and injected into soldiers who would be entering the cramped and unsanitary living conditions of war … what could possibly go wrong?

Is the bacterial serum made in horses at the Rockefeller Institute which was injected into US soldiers and distributed to numerous other countries responsible for the 50-100 million people killed by bacterial lung infections in 1918-19?

The Institute says it distributed the bacterial serum to England, France, Belgium, Italy and other countries during WWI. Not enough is known about how these countries experimented on their soldiers.

I hope independent researchers will take an honest look at these questions.


I do not believe that anyone involved in these vaccine experiments was trying to harm anyone.

Some will see the name Rockefeller and yell. “Illuminati!” or “culling the herd!”

I do not believe that’s what happened.

I believe standard medical hubris is responsible – doctors “playing God”, thinking they can tame nature without creating unanticipated problems.

With medical hubris, I do not think the situation has changed materially over the past 100 years.


The vaccine industry is always looking for human test subjects. They have the most success when they are able to find populations who not in a position to refuse.

Soldiers (9), infants, the disabled, prisoners, those in developing nations – anyone not in a position to refuse.

Vaccine experimentation on vulnerable populations is not an issue of the past. Watch this video clip of Dr. Stanley Plotkin where he describes using experimental vaccines on orphans, the mentally retarded, prisoners, and those under colonial rule.

The deposition was in January 2018. The hubris of the medical community is the same or worse now than it was 100 years ago.

Watch as Dr. Plotkin admits to writing:

“The question is whether we are to have experiments performed on fully functioning adults and on children who are potentially contributors to society or to perform initial studies in children and adults who are human in form but not in social potential.”

Please watch the horrifying video clip.(10) : "Dr. Stanley "Human-in-Form" Plotkin, re: experiments on orphans/mentally retarded/prisoners" / Video - [HV006O][GDrive]



1. Deaths from Bacterial Pneumonia during 1918–19 Influenza Pandemic

John F. Brundage* and G. Dennis Shanks†

Author affiliations: *Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA; †Australian Army Malaria Institute, Enoggera, Queensland, Australia


2. World Health Organization: Unsafe drinking water, sanitation and waste management


3. J Infect Dis. 2008 Oct 1; 198(7): 962–970.

Predominant Role of Bacterial Pneumonia as a Cause of Death in Pandemic Influenza: Implications for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness

David M. Morens, Jeffery K. Taubenberger, and Anthony S. Fauci


4. PDF of Fort Riley Study (1918) : See [HG005A][GDrive]

5. American Experience, “The First Wave”, PBS


6. Mayo Clinic: Meningitis


7. Public Health Rep. 2010; 125(Suppl 3): 82–91.

The U.S. Military and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918–1919

Carol R. Byerly, PhD


8. Rockefeller Institute pamphlet PDF (1919) - [HI0011][GDrive]

9. Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans’ Health? Lessons Spanning Half a Century, A Staff Report Prepared for the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, United States Senate, December 1994


10. 2018 (January) Interview - "Dr. Stanley "Human-in-Form" Plotkin, re: experiments on orphans/mentally retarded/prisoners"Video - [HV006O][GDrive] / PDF - [HV006P][GDrive]

2019 Article - "Part 2 : Did a Military Experimental Vaccine in 1918 Kill 50-100 Million People Blamed as Spanish Flu?" , From "First Freedoms Inc.", Distributed on "VaccineImpact dot com"

See [HW0030][GDrive]

by Kevin Barry, President : First Freedoms, Inc.


In Part 1 (1) ( See [HW002Z][GDrive] ), I asked if medical products made in horses may have played a role in the new disease which killed millions worldwide in the pandemic of 1918-19.

The December 1917 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine is BELOW - sheds light on the vaccine manufacturing process of 100 years ago.

The feature article, “How New York City’s Health Department Makes Serums and Vaccines for the United States Army” describes processes in place in 1917:

“After the horse has been inoculated with the disease poison in gradually increasing doses he is bled and his serum is found to be antitoxin.

This is administered to human beings and renders them immune to the disease …. Some horses give more antitoxin serum than others.

The same horse may be used at several different times for the preparation of distinctly different antitoxins … Horses are used in the preparation of diphtheria, tetanus antitoxin and antimeningococcus serum. “

It is difficult to believe that they used the same horses to make multiple disease serums, but they did.

If safety had been a concern, perhaps certain horses would have been dedicated to producing serum for one disease (or “poison” as the article calls it), but safety does not appear to be on the list of concerns.

These muddled and potentially contaminated serums were then given to soldiers (and to the public).

“How New York City’s Health Department Makes Serums and Vaccines for the United States Army,” Popular Science, December 1917

Courtesy Smithsonian Libraries, National Museum of American History

How New York City’s Health Department Makes Serums and Vaccines for the United States Army

  • Preparing the Bacteria - In the preparation of typhoid vaccine the bacteria are grown in the bottles you see on the table. The germs are killed by pouring a salt solution over them. The bottle on the shelf contains the salt solution which is being siphoned into the bottle containing the colony of typhoid fever germs.

  • Transferring the Bacilli - Tetanus bacilli occur in dust, earth and manure. They do not grow in the presence of oxygen and are particularly dangerous if they get into deep wounds. The young lady in the photograph is drawing up tetanus bacilli from the bottom of a test tube be means of a glass tube which she holds in her mouth. Thus the germs are transferred from tube to tube.

  • The Resultant Powerful Toxin - Here the large flask is being inoculated with tetanus bacilli. The small wire basket at the right contains test tubes in which are the tetanus germs. The flame which you see just to the right of the flask which is being inoculated is kept burning so that any instrument may be immediately sterilized after exposure.

  • The Final Step - The finished product containing millions of dead typhoid fever bacilli is poured by means of a siphon into large bottles. The vaccine is kept in a refrigerator until it is needed for use. Note the milky appearance of the vaccine.

  • A Glimpse into the “Shop” of the Laboratories - This photograph shows the refrigerator in the Bacteriological Laboratories of the Department of Health of the City of New York, where serums, vaccines and anti-toxins are prepared for the use of the United States Army. Much of this material will be shipped to the front. In the containers and bottles which you see on the shelves is $150,000 worth of material. There is enough diphtheria antitoxin to treat 75,000 men, enough tetanus antitoxin for 200,000 men, enough smallpox vaccine for a half million men and enough antimeningococcus serum to treat 2,500 men suffering from cerebrospinal meningitis.

  • Bleeding the Horse to Obtain the Serum - After the horse has been inoculated with the disease poison in gradually increasing doses he is bled and his serum is found to be antitoxin. This is administered to human beings and renders them immune to the disease. The horses are kept in the pink of condition. At periodic intervals they are given a rest. During the rest periods they are turned out to grass. When thoroughly rested, they are inoculated again. Some horses give more antitoxin serum than others. The same horse may be used at several different times for the preparation of distinctly different antitoxins.

  • Inoculating a Horse with Toxin - One of the 73 horses in the stables of the Department of Health of the City of New York at [Otisville]. This horse is being inoculated with diphtheria toxin. Small doses gradually increased render the horse immune to diphtheria. Horses are used in the preparation of diphtheria, tetanus antitoxin and antimeningococcus serum.


Were pathogens transferred from these horses to humans in mass quantities in ways they had never transferred before?

Humans and horses had interacted closely for centuries, but horse serum had not been injected into humans in that way before, bypassing the human immune system.

Is it possible that this new method of exposure caused the bacterial pneumonias which ripped human lungs apart in ways never seen before?

Could pathogens relatively harmless to horse lungs make a species-jump and destroy human lungs?

In 1919, a Dutch military veterinarian named Captain Emile Bemelmans “developed an extensive theory on the relation between human and animal influenza …. In 1919, he argued that ‘the human ‘flu’ and the so-called ‘infectious disease of the breast’ of horses are exactly identical in aetiological, bacteriological and epidemiological senses’.

In her 2014 paper “‘Spanish’ flu and army horses: what historians and biologists can learn from a history of animals with flu during the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic”, Dr. Floor Haalboom describes Bemelmans’s work:

“In 1919, Bemelmans’s argument on the identical nature of human and horse influenza in the Nederlandsch Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde (the Dutch medical journal) was reviewed in the veterinary journal,

… in 1914 he extended his theory on horse flu to several human and animal infectious diseases in an article in the Dutch medical journal. Bemelmans listed human influenza as an example among many other animal and human diseases which he thought were accompanied by (deadly) infections of streptococci.

Although he did not yet argue that human and horse flu were exactly equal, he did explicitly note their similarities: ‘Also between the human influenza and the so-called breast disease in horses peculiar similarities exist’…

… In these papers, Bemelmans addressed the nature of influenza (although he still preferred the name ‘flu’) of both humans and horses. He opposed the ideas that Pfeiffer’s bacterium or a filterable virus caused the disease, but thought toxins made by the bacteria streptococci were responsible for its deadly secondary complications. “ (4)

Dr. Bemelmans’s contemporaneous observations have largely been lost to history, in part because of the self important attitude of the medical community.

The hubris of the medical community prevented them from listening to a lowly veterinarian.

However, Dr. Bemelmans’s observations and persistence in getting them published are extraordinarily valuable. His awareness at the time that bateria was the killer of both humans and horses in the pandemic of 1918-19 put him decades ahead of his contemporaries.

The NIH paper describing bacteria as the predominant killer was published in 2008.(5)

See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2599911/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2599911/pdf/nihms76103.pdf

If Dr. Bemelmans was correct that horses and humans were suffering from an identical disease, are there diseases identical (or very similar) in both horses and humans? Do any of those diseases target the lungs?

“Animal Models – A Neglected Medical Resource”, Cornelius, CE, DVM, Ph.D.N Engl J Med 1969; 281:934-944 (6)

In a 1969 paper, Kansas State University veterinarian Dr. Charles E. Cornelius compiled a list of diseases which were very similar or identical in humans and various other species. Among the diseases identical/very similar in humans and horses is pulmonary emphysema, which targets the lungs.

Did a pathogen which causes pulmonary emphysema “species-jump” from horses to humans in these serums and vaccines?

The vaccines were obviously manufactured in primitive, unavoidably unsafe conditions and then given to WW1 soldiers as an experiment.

What exactly was in the serums and vaccines made in the horses at the Rockefeller Institute – especially considering that the same individual horses were used to for variety of serums for multiple diseases?

Recall from Part 1 that Streptococci bacteria were commonly found in the tissue samples from the autopsies of those who died in 1918-19. (5)

Cornelius said human and horse pulmonary emphysema are identical. Bemelmans reported that humans and horses were suffering from the same disease.

Did doctors treating soldiers suffering from “Spanish Flu” report on encountering a new killer type of pulmonary emphysema, causing lung damage that they had ever seen before?


“Acute Pulmonary Emphysema Observed During the Epidemic of Influenzal Pneumonia at Camp Hancock, Georgia”Robert G. Torrey American Journal of the Medical Sciences 1919, p. 170 – 181 (7)

Captain Dr. Torrey served at Camp Hancock, just outside of Augusta, GA. The soldiers who came through Camp Hancock were likely on their way to Charleston, SC to board ships to France, but many of them would not survive to get to the front.

Thousands died at Camp Hancock. Some who survived the illness likely made it to the ships, potentially passing the infectious bacteria to other soldiers in the unsanitary conditions which were rampant during WWI.

From Dr. Torrey’s report:


… Certain conditions were invariably present, including an intense bronchitis and peribronchitis similar to that found in a previous epidemic of pure hemolytic streptococcus infection (Scarlet Fever). There was also present from the first a destructive softening of the lung parenchyma.

In addition to this there was always an early and persisting generalized pulmonary emphysema which frequently was the main factor in causing death by interference with the mass movement of venous blood.

These conditions were found in every case examined at autopsy. Except for frequent otitis media (ear infection) there were almost no complications or sequelae outside of the chest.

The pulmonary emphysema, with consequent venous stasis, accounted for the cyanosis (turning blue/purple color), epistaxis (nosebleeds) and fixation of the chest in the phase of extreme inspiration (inhaling), with low stand of the diaphragm, which characterized these cases, and also accounted for the paradoxical physical signs (paradoxical breathing) in which fluid developed in the chest.”

Torrey describes what happened to these soldiers as they died. They were coughing, becoming “cloud adults” (8) (as described in Part 1).

It looked like a bacterial infection to him. Autopsies showed lung tissue had been damaged, which restricted blood flow, turning the dying a bluish/purple color, due to lack of oxygen.

When the patients tried to inhale, their diaphragms constricted instead of expanded, the opposite of what diaphragms are supposed to do.(9) Fluids then filled their lungs, and many did not survive, literally the fluid in their lungs strangling the soldiers to death.


There is a highly contagious horse respiratory infection called Strangles (or Distemper). If this disease can kill horses, what would it do to human lungs if introduced into humans, via injection and therefore bypassing the immune system, on a mass scale?

“Strangles is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection of horses caused by the bacteria Streptococcus equi subspecies equi (S. equi). It is transmitted by inhalation or direct contact with contaminated surfaces (for example horses sharing water buckets).“ (10)

Did streptococcus equi contaminate the serums and vaccines made in horses produced at the Rockefeller Institute and injected into soldiers in a vaccine experiment? Was streptococcus equi in the medical serums given to the soldiers as treatments? Was it some other pathogen which species jumped?

Did medical hubris lead to a mistake which caused a species jump which killed 50-100 million people 100 years ago?



1. Part 1 of this series : [HW002Z][GDrive]
2. Dr. Stanley Plotkin: vaccine experiments on orphans, the mentally retarded, and others (January 2018)3. “How New York City’s Health Department Makes Serums and Vaccines for the United States Army,” see Slide 7Popular Science, December 1917Courtesy Smithsonian Libraries, National Museum of American Historyhttps://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/fromdnatobeer/exhibition-living-factories.html4. Haalboom, F., 2014. ‘Spanish’ flu and army horses: what historians and biologists can learn from a history of animals with flu during the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic. Studium, 7(3), pp.124–139. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/studium.98305,. J Infect Dis. 2008 Oct 1; 198(7): 962–970. Predominant Role of Bacterial Pneumonia as a Cause of Death in Pandemic Influenza: Implications for Pandemic Influenza PreparednessDavid M. Morens, Jeffery K. Taubenberger, and Anthony S. Faucihttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2599911/6. Animal Models – A Neglected Medical ResourceCornelius, CE, DVM, Ph.D.Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University October 23, 1969N Engl J Med 1969; 281:934-944https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM1969102328117067. “Acute Pulmonary Emphysema Observed During the Epidemic of Influenzal Pneumonia at Camp Hancock, Georgia”Robert G. TorreyAmerican Journal of the Medical Sciences 1919, p. 170 – 181https://quod.lib.umich.edu/f/flu/0470flu.0016.740/1/–acute-pulmonary-emphysema-observed-during-the-epidemic?view=image8. Horse Strangles | Streptococcus equi subsp equi infection in horses (2015)Ashley G. Boyle, DVM, DACVIM (Large Animal Internal Medicine), Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine http://vetspecialists.com/horse-strangles-streptococcus-equi-subsp-equi-infection-in-horses/9. Deaths from Bacterial Pneumonia during 1918–19 Influenza PandemicJohn F. Brundage* and G. Dennis Shanks†Author affiliations: *Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA; †Australian Army Malaria Institute, Enoggera, Queensland, Australiahttps://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/14/8/07-1313_article10. What is paradoxical breathing?Sun 5 November 2017https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319924.php11. Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans’ Health? Lessons Spanning Half a Century, A Staff Report Prepared for the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, United States Senate, December 1994 https://www.hsdl.org/?abstract&did=43883516. “How New York City’s Health Department Makes Serums and Vaccines for the United States Army,” see Slide 7 [ See [HG005M][GDrive] )Popular Science, December 1917Courtesy Smithsonian Libraries, National Museum of American Historyhttps://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/fromdnatobeer/exhibition-living-factories.html



CATRYNA WHITE January 3, 2019 at 9:56 am - Reply

One thing that is little known is that thousands of horses were shipped from Missouri, USA to Europe during WWI. Every single one of the received what is referred to as a "flu bacterium." So, not only were the soldiers and eventually the citizenry inoculated with all manner of filth, but the horses used in the war, were too.

2018 (January) Interview - "Dr. Stanley "Human-in-Form" Plotkin, re: experiments on orphans/mentally retarded/prisoners"

Video - [HV006O][GDrive] / PDF - [HV006P][GDrive]


BY [Dr. Frederick Lamont Gates (born 1886)] / First Lieutenant, Medical Corps, U. S. Army.

(From the Base Hospital, Fort Riley, Kansas, and The Rockefeller Institute ./or Medical Research, New York.) (Received for publication, July 20, 1918.)

Source : [HG005A][GDrive]