UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE.
RUPERT BLUE, Suegeon Genei^ai,.
"SPANISH INFLUENZA"—"THREE-DAY FEVER "THE FLU/^
'What is Spanish Irufluenzaf Is it soraething new? Does it come frail ^jjainf
The disease now occurring in this country and called "Spanish Influenza" resembles a very contagious kind of "cold" accompanied by fever, pains in the head, eyes, ears, back or other parts of the body, and a feeling of severe sickness. In most of the cases the symptoms disappear after three or four days, the patient then rapidly recover¬ ing; some of the patients, however, develop pneumonia, or intlamma- tion of the ear, or meningitis, and manj^ of these complicated cases die. Whether this so-called "Spanish" influenza is identical with the epidemics of influenza of earlier years is not yet known.
Epidemics of influenza have visited this country since 1647. It is interesting to know that this first epidemic was brought here from Valencia, Spain. Since that time there have been numerous epi¬ demics of the disease. In 1889 and 1890 an epidemic of influenza, starting somewhere in the Orient, spread first to Eussia, and thence over practically the entire civilized world. Three years later there was another flare-up of the disease. Both times the epidemic spread widely over the United States.
Although the present epidemic is called '' Spanish influenza," there is no reason to believe that it originated in Spain. Some writers who have studied the question believe tliat the epidemic came from the Orient and they call attention to the fact that the Germans mention the disease as occurring along the eastern front in the sum¬ mer and fall of 1917.
How can ^''Spanish influenza^^ he recognized?
There is as yet no certain way in which a single case of '' Spanish influenza" can be recognized; on the other hand, recognition is easy where there is a group of cases. In contrast to the outbreaks of ordi¬ nary coughs and colds, which usually occur in the cold months, epi¬ demics of influenza may occur at any season of the year, thus the present epidemic raged most intensely in Europe in May, June, and July. Moreover, in the case of ordinary colds, the general symptoms (fever, pain, depression) are by no means as severe or as sudden in their onset as they aie in influenza. Finally, ordinar^^ colds do not spread through the community so rapidly or so extensively as does influenza.