dee_burris: (Default)
Dee Burris Blakley ([personal profile] dee_burris) wrote2013-06-21 21:04

Was it really the flu?

Wikipedia calls it the 1918 flu pandemic and the National Archives calls it The Influenza Epidemic.

No matter which descriptor you choose, I had never heard that, especially among young adults, aspirin could have contributed to their deaths by causing hyperventilation and pulmonary edema at the high doses prescribed.

Thanks to [personal profile] rainbow for finding that interesting tidbit of information.
rainbow: a shield with a rainbow A on it and the text "autism superpowers activated!" (Default)

[personal profile] rainbow 2013-06-22 22:08 (UTC)(link)
most welcome! i'm still boggled, every time i start thinking about it.
oakmouse: (Default)

[personal profile] oakmouse 2013-06-27 02:35 (UTC)(link)
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.