Date: 2013-06-27 02:35 am (UTC)
oakmouse: (Default)
From: [personal profile] oakmouse
They've actually isolated the organism that caused it, and yes, it's flu; one of the bird flu varieties.

For a long time they thought that the thing that made it so lethal is that it had a mutation which caused the blood of its victims to produce too much hemoglobin. Autopsies showed some victims whose blood had literally become unable to circulate properly as a result. Those victims who bled for any reason (including menstruation) during their illness had a higher survival rate. The book Plague of the Spanish Lady has information about that aspect of it.

However, the aspirin thing definitely would explain some of the deaths that aren't explained by the excess hemoglobin issue. Fascinating stuff.
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