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Bernard M -- Taipei English Tutor

Bernard M - English Conversation / TOEFL / IELTS 一對一英文會話

Friday, May 1, 2009

FROM Mandell´s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases posted on Dailyspeculations

Influenza virus has been causing recurrent epidemics of febrile respiratory disease every 1 to 3 years for at least the past 400 years. Although the disease is not associated with a characteristic manifestation such as rash, the high attack rate, the explosive nature of the epidemic, and the frequency of cough allow the identification of some past epidemics. For example, Sydenham’s account of an epidemic that occurred in 1679 is a clear description of influenza. Hirsch tabulated 299 outbreaks occurring at an average interval of 2.4 years between 1173 and 1875. As discussed later, severe epidemics of worldwide scope occur less often and are referred to as pandemics. The first recorded pandemic that clearly fits the description of influenza occurred in 1580, although others may have occurred earlier. Since then, 31 pandemics have been described. The greatest pandemic in recorded history occurred in 1918–1919 when, during three “waves” of influenza, 21 million deaths were recorded worldwide, among them 549,000 in the United States.
I guess the CNN article claiming the 1918 Spanish flu killed up to 100 million is a wild exaggeration.

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