Friday, June 21st, 2013 09:04 pm
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.
Thursday, June 27th, 2013 02:35 am (UTC)
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.
Thursday, June 27th, 2013 02:50 am (UTC)
I'm trying to figure out how to sort my GEDCOM by date of death to see if any of my folks might have been in the group of young adults who could have been affected.