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The Washington times. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, October 06, 1918, NATIONAL EDITION, The American Weekly Section, Image 22

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Map showing the Conn. Taken by the Miscalled "Spanish Influenza" from the Trenches
to the United States.. Originating Within the Greman Lines it First Spread Through
Germany, Having Been Communicated by Soldiers oa Leave or Returning Wounded.
Making Jts Way Through Prisoners Into France, It Followed, Through Causes Not
Yet Known, a Well-Marked line Into Spain, Where It Increased in VIrulency and
Gained Its Name. From Spain It Returned Again to France, from Whence It Was Car
ried by Infected Persons on Ships Both to England and to America. Its Transmission
Into the Scandinarian Neutral Countries, Where It Has Claimed Many Lives, Seems
to Hare Been by Way of Belgium and Holland.
By Dr. Gordon Henry
THE first really serious epidemic of
disease produced by the great war
is that called "the Bpaniah Influ
enza" which has caused deplorable mor
tality In New York and New England.
At the outset It should be said that the
term "Spanish infiuenxa" Is clearly an
error, and that the name should be "Ger
man Influenza," for Investigation proves
that the disease originated In the German
trenches. It has since made a tour ot the
entire civilized world, In the course ot
which It broke out with especial severity
in Spain, owing to certain local conditions.
The French, noting Its ravages in Spain,
and not having suffered very badly them
selves, gave It the title "Spanish Influ-
That this should be the only epidemic
disease produced by the world war Is a
remarkable proof of the protection afforded
to ns. by modern medicine and hygiene.
After nearly all other great wars, as a re
sult ot the misery, starvation and enfeeble
ment of the population, there have been
great outbreaks of pestilence, which have
depopulated cities and even countries.
The disease generally known as "the
bubonic plague" is the great plague which
caused the great ravages of past war
epochs, its cost in human lives has not
been less than two billions. In addition, out
breaks of smallpox, cholera, typhus and
yellow fever have followed debilitating
Fortunately our enormous progress in
medicine and our material resources for
combating disease give assurance that no
plague epidemic of such magnitude as
those ot the past can orcur in America at
the present time.
How widespread has been the outbreak
of Spanish Influenza Is shown by the fact
that our Assistant Secretary of the Navy,
Franklin D. Roosevelt, suffered from it,
while, at about the time he was recovering
the youngest son of the King of Sweden
died of it.
The first known advent of the influenza
In this country occurred when the Nor
wegian ship Bergensfjord arrived at New
York on August 12 with twenty-five cases,
three ot whom died, but there were prob
ably other sources of infection, apart from
the report that the German U-boats sur
reptitiously disseminated the Infection in
this country. Independent sources of in
fection, apparently, reached Boston and
New England, where the disease raged
most alarmingly, causing seventy deaths
in one day and 9.000 cases at the Camp
Devens military camp.
And now just what happens to the suf
ferer from Spanish Influenza? From obser
vations ot one thousand soldiers It was
found that from one to three days after
contact or approach to others who had Ibo
disease a feverish state began This fever
rose steadily until on the second or third
day afterwards, it was as high as occurs
in pneumonia. In many cases it went as
high at 104 deg. Fahr. Indeed, it is ap
parent that one of the most common as
well as the most dangerous complications
is that ot pneumonia.
The disease starts with a chill or chills
that may shake the whole room you're in
Severe headaches, with pains in the legs,
In the groin. In the neck, in the spine, and
in the small of the back are generally
Then "that tired feeling." named by doc
tors "general malaise," takes charge of the
safferer'a anatomy The Ictlm feels
wretched all over Fever blisters, those
frequent accompaniments of pneumonia, of
meningitis and of tertian malaria, "break
jut" on the sufferer's lips.
The face becomes flushed, a thermom
eter stuck under the tongue registers 102
to 104 degroes. and the victim as well as
his doctors knows he's in for it badly.
Spanish influenza "cures or kills" in
Liberty motor speed. Within four days the
worst Is usually over. About the second
day the abrupt crisis takes place. On the
fourth day the patient is either as well as
he ever was, or pneumonia or another com
plication asserts its dangerous presence.
A harsh cough is a frequently encountered
2 ft
Hirshberg', A. M., M. D.
symptom. The patient thus hacks and
sprays forth lots of the microbes, which
spread the infection rapidly unlcBs handlod
with the greatest precaution.
A thick, tenacious sputum of a whitish
mucoid character distinguishes this new
disease from the well-known old influenza
with its greenish sputum. This also dis
tinguishes Spanish Influenza from pneumo
nia, with Its typical "rusty colored tough
Failure of Intestinal action, a restricted
flow of the kidney fluids and a want of
appetite rlay a large role In the charac
teristic signs and symptoms ot Spanish
If you take close notice of the several
differences between this new malady and
the old influenza, you will observe that the
fever Is sharper, higher, but of shorter
duration; the total course of the new
scourge Is briefer; thero are fewer stomach
or intestinal Bymptoms in the Spanish
influenza, whereas in the previously known
influenza gastro-Intestinal disturbances
were predominant.
A most important discovery has just
been made nith regard to this disease
The specific microbe which causes It has
been definitely isolated. This is a complete
disproof of the assertion In some medical
publications that the bacillus was the
same as that of the old influenza, or grip.
This Interesting discovery Is due to the
researches of three English army sur
geons. Captains T. R. Little, C. J. Garafalo
and P. A. Williams, ot the Canadian Mo
bile Bacteriological Laboratory, attached
to the British base hospitals.
The last great pandemic of grip, or in
fluenza, lasted threo years, from 1889 until
1892. It spread like wildfire over the
civilized world during that period. Then
several American bacteriologists at work
simultaneously and Professor Pfeiffer dis
covered the grip germ, or influenza bacil
lus, which has since been confirmed and
established as the specific cause of the
colds, pains, backaches and other classical
symptoms of the old-time grip.
The present scourge, it was soon found,
is much more malignant and entirely dif
ferent from the other
The manner in which the bacterial agent
which causes this plague was run to earth
is a model of the bacteriological skill, su
premacy, efficiency and patience of the
English and American medical staffs.
It was recognized that the rapidity with
which the contagion spread pretty well
pointed to some microbe or bacterium as
the guilty party. It was also argued that
the causative agent must lurk at least a
large part of the time in or near the air
passages of the victim.
The coughs, the sputum tho pneumonia
and bronchitis complications, the spray
from the nose and throat as it came in
direct contact with the men or reached
them through plates, dishes and linens,
seemed to Invito bacteriological searches
and microscopic studies
Fortunately, for all of us on thlb side of
the ocean, medical science has mcceeded in
Isolating and Identifying the germs in just
that way at the very beginning of the
American epidemic, which is thereforo like
ly to be nipped in the bud.
The new bacillus is not in tho blood.
Cultivation ot It Is impossible from this
source It Is lucky that so demoniacal a
bug does not penetrate thf delicate fluid
tissue of man. Then Its malignancy
would perhaps be tenfold.
However, when the bacteriologists ex
plored the discharges and excretions from
the nose, the pharynx and the throat, lo
nnd behold! their pioneer work was at
last rewarded.
Spread upon glass and examined under
a magnification of 1,200 times, a new
microscopic living world opened up before
their astonished gaze
A veritable beehive of trembling, vibrat
ing bacilli almost as round and as small
and resembling tho dlplococcus of menlngi
lis loomed up beneath tho high magnlflca
tions of the microscope. A dlplococcus is
a type of microbe In which two disc-like
hhapes are attached to one another.
At the poles or opposing ends of this
myriad of tiny germs their torpedo, blunt
noses were flattened out to make them al
most biscuit shaped.
How the First Real Epidemic of
the World War Spread from
the German Trenches and Why
Science Believes It Has Averted
All Danger of Catastrophic
Mulct Snch as This Are Being Wore by
Sufferer In the Camps and by all Thote
Who Coma In Contact with Them, Thai
Entirely Doing Away with Danger
of Communicating the Infection.
In no "smears" of these bacteria were
there any ot the well-known Pfeiffer bacilli
of influenza or any double cocci ot pneu
monia. The newly discovered germ has charac
teristics peculiarly Its own. These are de
scribed in technical reports In the London
Lancet for July and the British Medical
Journal tor August 10, 1918.
As a rule there are so many bacteria that
are superficially at first glance exactly
alike that a mere Inspection nf them un
dyed or unstained under the microscope
without planting them In various small test
tubes of different soils would fool even ex
perts into believing that they are similar
and Identifiable.
On this account It is that bacteriologists
must use a great many other teBts to con
vince themselves and their skeptical con
freres and enemies tbat they have a new
and a different germ.
It Is done in this way. When they And
and isolate a bacterium and under the
microscope it resembles even when
stained blue or otherwise, dyed the dlplo
cocci of pneumonia or meningitis both of
which also look alike they "put iodine on
Its' tall," as It were. If It "takes" it Is thus
differentiated into one of two groups which
take or do not take iodine.
Then it Is planted In gelatine. It either
grows and melts the gelatine or It does
not. Thus another group Is found.
Then potato, moss, agar, banana, blood
serum and other soils are used until a
whole series of facts are found about a
germ which show it to be different from all
hitherto discovered ones.
Thus it is with the new germ. The med
ical gentlemen determined that it has
none of the earmarks of any bacillus; that
has ever been "brought into captivity."
This bacillus we have found grows with
extreme reluctance upon the various
"media" or Jlelds on which most other
micro-organisms thriie. It hankers after
blood. It thrives and grows best on blood
serum media, although it does not grow
In the human blood
There is a luxuriant, rich, abundant
sprouting of tho malicious bacillus In this
serum soil, which explains why Spanish in
fluenza clings so tenaciously to the lips,
the tongue, the mouth and the gums ot its
victims and its "carriers."
The physicians and. scientists of the
Allied countries are, seriously considering
whether or not the germs of this disease
have been intentionally disseminated by
the German Government with the Inten
tion of weakening their opponents. No
definite conclusion has been reached on
this point, but the charge canot be hastily
dismissed, os tho German Government has
already been convicted of employing dis
ease germs against civilians In Rumania.
Tho disease was first observed by army
doctors to bo raging in the German
trenches on the Flanders front in the wet
weather of last Spring. From the front
It passed to the weakened interior imputa
tion of Germany with great severity. It
then broke out in Spain, and as the French
civilians first noticed its ravages there
they called it Spanish influenza. It Is sig
nificant that Intercourse between Germany
and Spain by U-boat and in other ways
has been particularly frequent From
these two centres its world-wide, spread
has started.
Toniri-ht Vim by Star Company
m y, 7jl4F. Jy f IjMalssssssssssssssssssssssT I
Such as Have
Many of the
Great Wars
of the Past
Tha Engluh Artlit Collier' Famous Picture of "The Plague." Sack Epidemic a Tfck
Which Ravaged England and Almost All of Esrepe fat the Srvsnteealfc and Earlier Cen
turie Are Now Impossible, Modern Medical Science Having Devised Infallible Mesa of
Coping with Them. The Influenza, Bad a It Is, I Sfigbt Disorder Compared to
Ancient Pestueneet That FoBowed War.
Facts About "Spanish Influenza9 and
How to Protect Yourself Against It
THE disease begins two or three
days after infection with fever,
heavy sneezing, headache, aching
bones and general pains.
All colds with high fever should be put
to bed and the doctor called.
Infection is mostly caused by reck
less sneezing, coughing and spitting.
Avoid these practices and those who
have them.
To guard against infection, keep the
mouth and nose clean with a mild anti
septic wash (see accompanying article).
Medical treatment consists of rest,
abundant food, aperients, and quinine,
with Dover powders to stop pain.
. The disease started in the German
trenches, passed to Spain and then
spread over the civilized world.
Tbat the influenza germs have been se
cretly scattered in this country by German
U-boats is a charge difficult to prove, but
their gas attacks on crows of our light
ships and lighthouses furnish character
evidence against them.
It Is scientifically demonstrated that the
germs Increase in virulence with the num
ber ot persons they pass throngh, until
finally tho system acquires immunity
against them through infection.
Treatment for tho disease is simple.
Surgeon-General Blue, of the Public
Health Service, summarizes it as follows:
"Rest In bed, fresh air, abundant food,
free action of intestines, with Dover's
powder for tho relief of pain. Every caso
with fever should ho regarded as serious
and kept in bed."
In order to guard against Infection It
Is necessary to keep the mouth and noso
clean and healthy by means of some mild
antiseptic and to treat all colds promptly.
A wash composed of one teaspoonful boric
acid, ono teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda
and one teaspoonful of common salt will
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Canadian army doctors have found
that Spanish influenza is caused by a
new, hitherto unrecognized bacillus,
quite different from that of the old
Pneumonia may occur as a complies.
tion, unless" careful treatment with rest
in bed be given.
Medical measures already taken will
make it impossible for the Spanish in
fluenza to become a serious menace to
the health of the army.
An accusation that the disease has
been intentionally disseminated by Ger
man U-boats is being investigated by
medical authorities.
The first identified case reached the
United States in a Norwegian ship on
August 31.
be found very useful in keeping nose and
throat clean.
The disease is spread by "droplet infec
tion," that is, by little drops swarming
with germs scattered by infected persons
who sneeze, spit and cough In public
places. Ono sneeze in a street car may
Infect a whole city.
It is therefore very comforting to know
that Health Commissioner Copeland, ot
New York, hascalled a meeting of theatri
cal managers and others with a view to
enforcing tho laws against spitting in
Kissing is another prolific method of In
fection, and this practice should be stopped
except In cases where it is absolutely In
dispensable to happiness. Kissing between
members ot the gentle sex can certainly
be abolished without hardship.
Army doctors have found the "gauze face
mask" very useful In preventing infection.
This is made with three or four layers of
gauze In the shape of a rectangle Ave by
seven Inches, covering the mouth and
nose and secured by a band over the ears
and round the back of the head.
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Diagram of the Mechanism of the Sneeae,
Showing the Courso of the Mut-
culer Spasm Which Spreads
"Droplet Infection."
When an irritating substance enters the
nostrils it lodges in the Schneiderian
Membrane and irritates the nasal nerve
(A), the sensation follow the Fifth
Nerve (B) to Meckel's Ganglion (C),
whence it reaches the sympathetic nerve
system (D). It passes along D and is
carried by the Phrenic Nerve (E), con
trolling (F) the diaphragm. Under
the irritant nerve impulse there, is a
spasm of the diaphragm which forces
a violent expiration of air from the
lungs (G), up through the Trachea
(H), out of the mouth and nose (I),
producing what we call the sneeze.
The mask Is employed in the army
camps as follows:
1. It Is worn by all patients unless iso
2. It is worn by all doctors and other
persons coming in contact with patients

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