Biology Essay

Submitted By hersheyswagmaster
Words: 504
Pages: 3

The Great Influenza: by John Barry The deadly pandemic of 1918 started in Haskell County, part of southwest Kansas. Birds are the main deliverers of the virus, and there is a close human-fowl relationship because of storms, tornadoes, and other harsh weather conditions in Haskell. The influenza virus has the ability to enter a cell and effectively hide from the immune system causing no other way out but death. The virus infects the respiratory system, meaning your nose, throat, bronchial tubes, and your lungs gets shut down. The disease spread across the world at speed unimaginable. It killed more people in 10 weeks than AIDS killed in 10 years.
Influenza is a quick and relentless disease. The disease is just trying to spread as fast as it can to kill the whole human race. It is also very likely that it will be happen again because it only spread in 1918, even with all the antibiotics today, it won’t stop this disease. Imagine how bad it was back then, no effective medicine and how the people had to suffer a slow and harsh death. “While the 1918 variety killed as many as 100 million people worldwide (approximately 675,000 in the United States alone.)”

There isn’t really a main character in the story but there are some major scientific discoveries. Influenza was discovered not by a direct study of the disease in humans, but from an animal. A veterinarian named J.S. Koen was observing pigs in the year of 1918. She then discovered that pigs can be infected by avian influenza and a human influenza virus, which means that pigs can catch the virus very quickly and can spread very quickly.
There was also a lead of the virus found by Richard Johannes Pfeiffer in partnership with Shibasaburo Kitasato. They are both physicians/bacteriologists that were working in Berlin. Kitasato reported the discovery of a new bacteria which then Pfeiffer cultivated it and sustained it on the new…