As we reflect on the ċentennali end of the First World War, it should be remembered that another disaster had begun in 1918: the pandemic Spanish flu, which killed at least 50 million people, more than twice the number of men who have been killed, still blastjati or death in the trenches.
Unless began talks & # 39; peace & # 39; Paris at the beginning of & # 39; 1919, this particularly virulent strain has already infected a third of the global population. As Laura Spinney notes in her new book on the subject, the Spanish flu "again irrikupplula human populations b & # 39; way more radical than anything the Black Death." Can & # 39; also cause neurological problems such as lethargy and paranoia even after the normal symptoms reduced.
F'bookbook still used today, Principles and Practice of Medicine, The Canadian physician Sir William Osler remarked that "almost any form of & # 39; nervous system diseases can & # 39; follow the flu." Certainly, this was true in the 1918-19 pandemic strain, which itself succeeded Osler.
Researchers recently used recombinant techniques nucleic acid to re-create the genome of the virus of Spanish flu from the lung tissue of victims who were buried f'permafrost. B & # 39; difference from ordinary flu, the reconstructed breed can & # 39; directly infect the brain tissue of & # 39; laboratory ferrets. Specifically, striking the olfactory bulb, disturbing cycles of & # 39; wake sleeping and create symptoms similar to those of foot & # 39; Parkinson.
This research opens a better picture of how this disease acted century ago when the President of the U.S. Woodrow Wilson arrived in France for peace talks.
new world order?
Wilson and progressive academic sincere about everything except the race, Wilson was known for his intellectual true. At the beginning of 1918 he pointed to his famous Fourteen Point, which called for free trade, open diplomacy and a new balance of European power with international body to prevent future wars.
The Fourteenth Point also maintained a malicious towards Germany, Berlin and therefore accepted them as a basis for negotiations.
Compared exhausted and filled with British, US (and Wilson himself) thus emerged as a key player at the beginning of 1919, the one party able to forge a lasting peace.
But in the 3 & # 39; April, 1919, Wilson ill b & # 39; flu-like symptoms. Recognizing that "of all the civilization appears to be in balance," the doctor lowered his foot and ordered bed rest.
Since then, historians have questioned this episode, both about the problems & # 39; & # 39 previous health; Wilson and his performance when he returned in weeks of negotiations following table.
Chances lost and dark results
Wilson was not the same man. He tired easily and quickly lost focus and patience. He seemed paranoid, worried about the fact that it was looking at housemaids. It has reached some of its specific goals but was unable or unwilling to articulate a broader vision & # 39; for a better world.
In other words, he acted like a man with residual neurological problems resulting from recent fight & # 39; Spanish flu.
During the coming crucial weeks, Wilson lost his best chance to win the peace by agreeing in principle agree & # 39; harsh terms favored by France. The final solution punished to Germany b & # 39; & # 39 formal admission, guilt, huge damages and loss of & # 39; about 10 percent of its territory.
The stunned Germans had little choice but to sign 28 & # 39; June, 1919.
Back in U.S. F & # 39; that fall, Wilson suffered a major stroke as opposition to the treaty from iżolazzjonizzjonisti senators gained steam. He died four & # 39; years later, his vision of & # 39; League b & # 39; & # 39 of robust, Nations was hampered by a lack of & # 39; indigenously.
The rest, as they say, is history
The right leaders in Germany switched to the betrayal of their nation. Among them was Adolf Hitler, who criticized Jews and left set for the war effort and took revenge on the Allies. In 1940, he insisted on the humiliation & # 39; France by ddetta its surrender terms in the same train car which was signed the 1918 armistice.
Wilson can better secure stronger peace? Had that peace monsters like Hitler kept on the fringes?
Of course, we can not know. But by get the medical and historical research together, we closer to what actually happened, and feel better about what could & # 39; happened.
We can also use this incident to reflect on the awesome power & # 39; the presidents & # 39; US, then and now, we form to the fate of & # 39; unborn millions. Surely this requires close attention to their mental health.
Why historians ignored the Spanish flu