More and more we can see Coronavirus diseaseAfter nearly two years of the pandemic and a few doses of vaccines, it is becoming a disease that can even lead to death, no longer an emergency but something that is part of people’s daily lives. The virus spreads along the same lines as another pandemic considered one of the deadliest in history: the Spanish Flu.
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To explain the process of training and how they were discovered, it is necessary to go back in time.
In 1918, an influenza virus—influenza A, caused by the H1N1 virus—circulated in the United States.
Em meio à first world warIn Europe, they chose not to reveal information about the disease, which would only kill more people in battle, so as not to weaken the morale of their troops. Therefore, Spain, which was not involved in the conflict, was responsible for reporting the situation, hence the name Spanish Flu. A pandemic ended in 1919.
The Spanish Flu is estimated to have affected a third of the world’s population and killed between 200,000 and 50,000 people, according to the São Paulo City Chamber of Commerce portal, with recent studies putting the death toll linked to World War I at 1 Billion People (1914).-1918) He spent four years killing 8,000 people.
“The Spanish Flu was caused by influenza A virus, or Influenza A H1N1, interestingly, when we stop and think about it, in 2009, we were alerted again (for H1N1). The virus can infect parts of the 1918 strain, but as it coexists with a community and spreads around the world, it eventually mutates and incorporates different DNA. Even the viruses we have now must be similar to the virus of 1918, but what is certain is that these viruses have undergone many mutations and have drastically changed their appearance”, João, an infectious disease expert from BP -A Beneficência Portuguesa de Prats explains. St. Paul.
Sumire Sakabe, an infectious disease specialist at Nove de Julho Hospital, confirms that he witnessed three pandemics caused by influenza in the 20th century: the Spanish Flu of 1918, known as H1N1; the Asian Flu, 1957, known as H2N2; and the 1968 Hong Kong influenza, H3N2.
Derivatives of the H1N1 virus circulated until 1957, when they were replaced by the H2N2 virus. First, it would reappear in the late 1970s, and as reactions on both sides continued, two cases of seasonal influenza continue today.
However, Sumire stressed that the H1N1 influenza strain that caused the Spanish flu is no longer circulating. This was confirmed by sequencing of viral samples collected from the victim’s lung tissue at the time.
Masks, quarantine and the current battle
Maura Neves, an otolaryngologist at the ABORL-CCF (Associação Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia e Cirurgia Cérvico-Facial), claims that the containment of the Spanish flu was due to the use of masks, social distancing and the fact that the virus was considered contagious And the incentives to quarantine — the same strategy that was employed at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, before there was a vaccine.
She added that the high mortality associated with the virus is partly due to complications from the H1N1 flu, which causes bacterial pneumonia at a time when antibiotics were not available to combat the disease.
Maura said the H1N1 flu virus has matured into mutations and a new, more virulent mutation may emerge.
Therefore, by starting vaccinations with annual flu campaigns (which contain newer strains than the previous year’s epidemic), and as medical advances, faster combat, as well as effective remedies, are possible.
“The flu vaccine is made from inactivated, fragmented viruses, meaning it contains only dead virus that cannot cause illness. It stimulates the production of antibodies against proteins expressed in the strain. This way, when the virus penetrates the body , Roberta Pilla, otolaryngologist at ABORL-CCF, concluded: “The immune response occurs within two weeks of vaccination. “