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Doomsday Flu, The   -  Discontinued

Doomsday Flu, The

Item Number:
50 min.
Closed Caption:
A & E Entertainment
Over the course of just 120 terrifying days, an innocuous seasonal disease mutated into a monster that killed 22 million people around the world - one million more than World War I saw dead by bayonet, shell, gas and machine gun in four years. Scientists estimate that, had the disease maintained its rate of acceleration, it would have wiped out all humankind in months. This program tells the terrible story of the Spanish Flu, which during the final week of October 1918 alone killed 21,000 in America. The disease struck quickly: in minutes, a person feeling perfectly well would be overcome by crushing fatigue and nearly instantly felled by raging fever, a throat and mouth turned flaming red, paralyzed eye muscles, and lungs that hemorrhaged and filled with strangling pus. As this flu raged across Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, it seemed to pick the young and the strong; in army camps, it was the farm boys who fell and not the wizened city dwellers. As this program reveals, the flu nearly brought the Great War to a halt, turning troop ships into death ships. City dwellers used face masks to avoid the virus; schools, churches and other public places were closed. If you coughed or spit in public, you could go to prison. Yet nothing helped; the disease mutated too swiftly.

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