As a matter of fact, despite being serious though preventable occurrences, infectious disease outbreaks and armed conflicts have a considerable potential to destroy human societies. Directly after the First World War, in 1918, the “Spanish Flu” pandemic began (Flecknoe, et al., 2018). According to words initially received from Spanish sources by international news agencies “a strange form of disease of epidemic character has appeared in Madrid. The epidemic is of a mild nature; no deaths having been reported” (Flecknoe, et al., 2018, p. 2). At the same time, the disease’s precise place of origin is still uncertain. After the first mild wave, the subsequent second wave of the “Spanish Flu” was highly severe. It affected Europe, the United States, Mexico, Iceland, New Zealand, Iran, and even isolated islands, such as Western Samoa (Flecknoe, et al., 2018). In general, the disease killed approximately 50-100 million people across the globe (Flecknoe, et al., 2018). Its prevalence rate on a global scale and a considerable number of deaths allow classifying the outbreak of “Spanish flu” as a pandemic.
It goes without saying that the pandemic of “Spanish flu” could be mitigated by the following medical recommendations (Liu, et al., 2018). The initial victims of this disease were military personnel, and the immediate isolation of infected soldiers could prevent its spread (Flecknoe, et al., 2018). However, at the beginning of the 20th century, both military leaders and governments frequently ignored public health advice (Flecknoe, et al., 2018). As a result, troop ships went between Europe and North America without quarantine, and huge parades dedicated to the victory were organized in multiple cities across the United States. The outcomes of these irresponsible activities demonstrate the necessity of isolation in order to avoid another pandemic’s spread in the future.
Flecknoe, D., Wakefield, B. C., & Simmons, A. (2018). Plagues & wars: The ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic as a lesson from history. Medicine, Conflict, and Survival, 34(2), 61-68.
Liu, W. J., Bi, Y., Wang, D., & Gao, G. F. (2018). On the centenary of the Spanish Flu: Being prepared for the next pandemic. VirologicaSinica, 33, 463-466.