Flu season has officially begun, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and this year the infamous strain known as H1N1 is dominant.
Reportedly that’s the same strain that killed at least 50 million people and infected nearly one-third of the world’s population a century ago, between 1918 and 1920.
“Most flu activity so far this season is still being driven by H1N1 infections,” said Kristen Nordlund, a CDC spokesperson. To date, there have been seven pediatric deaths associated with a mix of H1N1, H3N2 and influenza B virus infections, the CDC states.
It is too early to tell if H1N1 will infect a majority of those who get the flu this year, but it is worth asking: If it is, could it be as deadly again as it was in 1918?
An outbreak at the high numbers that the early 20th century endured would be unlikely per researchers since there are now flu shots and antiviral drugs that have been shown to be effective against it. Also, hospital and critical care have improved greatly since 1918.
But research into the 1918 strain found that it exhibited a stark contrast to contemporary human influenza H1N1 viruses and the pandemic virus displayed the ability for high-growth replication.
There are still many questions that remain unanswered about the 1918 strain, such as where it originated from.
Pestilence is foretold in the Biblical prophecies as Matthew 24 to be a sign of the Last Days at the end of this age.
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