Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Where Have I Heard About a Flu Epidemic Before?
It's amazing to me that it seems that we haven't jumped on the flu outbreak sooner than now. The other day we watched on the news as people were interviewed coming off planes from Mexico to Los Angeles. Hmmm, asking someone if they have the flu or symptoms isn't enough to stop the spread. I'm not a doctor but it seems like this is a disaster waiting to happen.
We can see what happened with the 1918 flu epidemic and take some advice from that. One of the reasons it is believed to have spread is that the soldiers fighting World War I were traveling; they were carriers who then, unknowingly, infected others. It seems to me that since we live in a time where within hours you can hop on a plane and be in a different state or country, this may cause the epidemic to quickly get out of hand. Am I saying we should all stay home? No, but maybe some restrictions might be for the best. Stopping the spread of the disease is better than watching people become infected or die from it.
I am just a genealogist. But I hope that those in charge, public health officials and other medical and government officials, take a look at history for some advice.
For my previous article on the 1918 flu epidemic see, http://philibertfamily.blogspot.com/2008/08/1918-flu-epidemic.html . For maps that show the progression of the flu epidemic then, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/influenza/maps/index.html and a map that shows current cases, see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30435064.