I just thought I’d stir the pot a wee bit, address some little known aspects of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. My question, “was the cure worst than the disease,” is not related to Covid 19, but rather the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918.
Recently I’ve been exceedingly annoyed with some outright propaganda coming from my state’s Dept of Health. You know, crazy things like, “how covid 19 is just like smallpox!” Uh, no, not even close. That is just pure fear mongering, outright emotionalized and weaponized rhetoric. A lie.
You know how I like to blog and share my thoughts? Well Gov agencies like the Dept of Health often have bloggers who are there to, “shape the public narrative.” Makes me absolutely crazy because they don’t tell people the whole story! One reason why I don’t monetize my blog, besides sheer laziness, is that it enables me to just freely say whatever I darn well please. Like telling people about the parts of the tale that don’t always match the desired narrative….
Something that is not well known, we never give kids or teens aspirin when they have the chicken pox or the flu. We use Tylenol or ibuprofen, but never aspirin. Aspirin during chicken pox or flu is also sometimes related to Reye’s syndrome. The “cure” can indeed be worse then the disease. We know this partially because right before the second wave of the 1918 Spanish flu hit us in October, official recommendations for aspirin had just been issued on 13 September 1918 by the US Surgeon General, the US Navy, and The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Bayer’s patent on aspirin had also expired in February 1917 and this allowed many manufacturers into the lucrative aspirin market. In response, Bayer launched a powerful advertising campaign. Aspirin was suddenly thought to cure the flu, the surgeon General had just advised it, and so aspirin sales more than doubled between 1918-1920. So did the death rate from the second wave of the Spanish flu.
So much aspirin, in such large doses, was given in an attempt to prevent the flu and to save people, that many actually didn’t die from the flu itself, they died from salicylate-intoxication. Especially young people which accounted for the greatest percentage of “flu” deaths. We know this because the truth was suspected at the time and some autopsies were actually performed and the debate began.
But it really wasn’t until the 1950’s that salicylate toxicity was better understood, and a few decades later, led to the eventual warning labels now on aspirin bottles alerting people of this danger, especially to children and teens being treated for the chicken pox or flu.
So yes people, the cure was much worse then the disease. How much worse? We don’t really know. We can’t go back to 1918 and do autopsies on everyone. From what we do know even today, aspirin and the flu don’t mix, especially in children and teens, and taking large amounts of aspirin can be exceedingly toxic, even for healthy people. We don’t know exactly how many of those October 1918 flu deaths were actually provoked by a second wave of the flu, or simply provoked by excessive doses of aspirin thought to be the cure for the flu. But we do know that the cure can indeed be worse then the disease, especially when pharmaceutical companies, patents, and lucrative profits are at hand. Western medicine is plumb full of well documented examples.
This is one of them.
To attempt to dismiss history, facts, and truth, as nothing more then “wild conspiracy theories” is an insult to people’s intelligence. These things are not “obscure facts” or “top secret theories,” they are well researched and well documented issues, many of which actually help to shape and form much of our current science today.