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Spanish Flu (Swine Flu)

Swine Flu is a form of influenza. Although swine flu is normally virulent only in pigs, it is thought to have crossed over to humans in the early part of the 20th century, causing the Spanish Flu pandemic. Estimates of the worldwide death toll from the Spanish Flu range up to 100 million people. The death toll was particularly high among young, healthy adults.

In 1976, a swine flu scare provided the biggest embarrassment of US President Gerald Ford's administration. On February 5 an army recruit at Fort Dix said he felt tired and weak. The next day, he was dead and four of his fellow soldiers were later hospitalized. Two weeks after his death, health officials announced that swine flu was the cause of death.

Despite the fact that only one person died, alarmed public health officials decided that action must be taken to head off a major pandemic and they urged that every person in the United States be vaccinated for the disease. The vaccination program was plagued by delays and public relations problems but about 24 percent of the population was vaccinated by the time the program was cancelled.

The vaccine was blamed for 25 deaths (more people died from the vaccine than died from the "swine flu" itself) and a small, but statistically significant, rise in the incidence of a rare illness called Guillain-Barré syndrome or GBS.

Posted by Staff at May 10, 2005 1:26 AM

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Comments Archive

My dad took the swine flu shot and shortly after developed Multiple Schlerosis. Is there any documentation that connects the two?

Not that we have seen, but there is a lot of information with some neurological disorders being connected to mercury from vaccinations. Check out the information on these pages about mercury,..

Posted by: cathy kelly at November 15, 2005 3:27 PM

When I was a senior in high school (the spring of 1976)I quickly became ill (within 4 hours) with a high fever, chills, and body aches. By the end of the school day I was taken to the emergency room and immediately admitted into the hospital. I was in there for two weeks. I was unable to eat ( I went from 120 lbs. down to 100 lbs.) and had respiratory problems. I remember I had a catheder because they didn't want me getting up to use the restroom and was given breathing treatments. I also remember being told that the doctor stayed by my side during the first night because "I was extremely sick" and he was worried about my welfare. I have vague memories of being told that I had swine flu, but I am not sure. My mother doesn't remember any longer what it was. Do the symptons I describe sound like that is what I had? I guess I started looking into bird flu and came across swine flu information and that sparked a memory for me. I read about the soldier that died at Fort Dix in 1976, but haven't seen much about how it affected the general population. Was it widespread esp. in the midwest? I lived on a dairy farm, but we did not raise hogs.

Posted by: Candi at January 12, 2006 12:25 AM