What Was 'La Grippe'?
Start writing a post

"La Grippe" was the name used for the Spanish Flu. This flu had three waves in the United States and led to 50 to 100 million deaths across the globe. Not only that, but it is also estimated that the infectious disease infected one in every three people at the time, or around 500 million.

One of the big problems with the disease was that it was highly virulent, meaning that it had a high capability of causing disease. In America alone, there were half a million deaths. Compare that to World War I, when the U.S. only had 116,516 casualties. The disease had enough of an impact that the kids made up a rhyme to go with their jump-rope game for it:

I had a little bird,
Its name was Enza.
I opened the window,
And in-flu-enza.

Even the president could not escape the disease, although it is not for certain that this was the pathogen he contracted. It was during the Peace Conference for World War I that Wilson became sick with the pathogen and would need to sit out of the negotiations.

Although the name has "Spanish" in it, it was not believed to have originated in Spain, but that was where a lot of deaths happened. However, there was an early beginning to the disease reported in U.S. military camps. One physician at Fort Devons said in September 1918:

"This epidemic started about four weeks ago and has developed so rapidly that the camp is demoralized and all ordinary work is held up till it has passed. ... These men start with what appears to be an ordinary attack of LaGrippe or Influenza, and when brought to the Hosp. they very rapidly develop the most viscous type of Pneumonia that has ever been seen. Two hours after admission they have the Mahogany spots over the cheek bones, and a few hours later you can begin to see the Cyanosis extending from their ears and spreading all over the face, until it is hard to distinguish the coloured men from the white. It is only a matter of a few hours then until death comes, and it is simply a struggle for air until they suffocate. It is horrible. One can stand it to see one, two or twenty men die, but to see these poor devils dropping like flies sort of gets on your nerves. We have been averaging about 100 deaths per day, and still keeping it up. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a new mixed infection here, but what I don't know."

The disease began in 1918 and ended in 1919, although there have been variants of the pathogen since then. In such a short time, the disease had a large impact and created a lot of fear in the world. People had just ended an attack on themselves, and soon this was replaced by a disease that would instill fear and bring a devastating amount of death again. The Spanish Flu had a large impact compared to its relatively short time in the news and how little information there truly is on the disease. In 1998, pathologist Johan Hultin told Time magazine the way to survive another such epidemic is to "isolate yourself in a mountain hideaway until the outbreak subsides."

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

What Your Car's Color Says About Your Personality

Your color choice speaks volumes. It doesn't just emit an image for the car, it also says something about your style and personality! It's a form of self-expression. Are you confident? Are you sophisticated? Are you easy-going? Are you outgoing? Are you practical? As you're reviewing car sites for your next car purchase, what color will you opt for? Find out what certain color choices says about you!

92362

When it comes to car shopping you likely have certain preferences, including what color it should be. Your color choice speaks volumes. It doesn't just emit an image for the car, it also says something about your style and personality! It's a form of self-expression. Are you confident? Are you sophisticated? Are you easy-going? Are you outgoing? Are you practical? As you're reviewing car sites for your next car purchase, what color will you opt for? Find out what certain color choices says about you!

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

30 Songs On My Back-To-School Playlist For Walks To And From Class

Headed back to in-person classes means you need a pretty banging playlist to power you through those walks to class.

82201
Photo by Zen Chung on Pexels

I don't know about you, but I start each day off with a one-mile walk to class. I have to have good tunes flowing through my ears during those 20 minutes, not to mention the walks between classes and the walks home. So, here is my 30 song playlist to get me through this almost unfamiliar concept we call walking to class.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Be Kind to Yourself: 8 Mental Health Tips to Try

One way you can improve your quality of life is to take care of your mental health. As a result, you'll feel less depressed and be able to enjoy spending time with friends and family more often. These mental health tips might be just what you need to forget about your problems.

48455

One way you can improve your quality of life is to take care of your mental health. As a result, you'll feel less depressed and be able to enjoy spending time with friends and family more often. These mental health tips might be just what you need to forget about your problems.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Should You Own An SUV If You Live In A Snowy state?

There are many reasons to own an SUV. If you live in a cold state or a rural area, you will see that owning an SUV is very important.

44930

The gas and oil prices are too high to run in a smaller vehicle. You are better off with an SUV for hauling cargo and driving larger loads around the town. In addition, owning an SUV is more comfortable and safe than driving a smaller vehicle.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Understanding Why Dog's Lick You

It is a natural instinct for dogs to lick

57756

Why do dogs lick?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments