There was something odd about the Spanish Flu, which was a more deadly version of H1N1. It attacked and killed the healthy and young far more than the sick and the weak, the very young and the elderly.
Now, the report, below says that the two H1N1's are "distant cousins" and "totally not related", but...
The newer "swine flu" H1N1 strain also seems to be following that pattern -- killing teens and "the very healthy" more than the old or young people, in spite of their relative health.
The Spanish Flu made the body attack itself -- the healthier you were, the worse the reaction Click Here:
- Spanish flu
Main article: 1918 flu pandemic
The Spanish flu, also known as La Gripe Española, or La Pesadilla, was an unusually severe and deadly strain of avian influenza, a viral infectious disease, that killed some 50 million to 100 million people worldwide over about a year in 1918 and 1919. It is thought to be one of the most deadly pandemics in human history. It was caused by the H1N1 type of influenza virus.
The 1918 flu caused an unusual number of deaths, possibly due to it causing a cytokine storm in the body. (The current H5N1 bird flu, also an Influenza A virus, has a similar effect.) The Spanish flu virus infected lung cells, leading to overstimulation of the immune system via release of cytokines into the lung tissue. This leads to extensive leukocyte migration towards the lungs, causing destruction of lung tissue and secretion of liquid into the organ. This makes it difficult for the patient to breathe. In contrast to other pandemics, which mostly kill the old and the very young, the 1918 pandemic killed unusual numbers of young adults, which may have been due to their healthy immune systems mounting a too-strong and damaging response to the infection.
The term "Spanish" flu was coined because Spain was at the time the only European country where the press were printing reports of the outbreak, which had killed thousands in the armies fighting World War I. Other countries suppressed the news in order to protect morale.
Perhaps there is something to this study. Now, I don't believe studies as a rule and I have criticized the same, but logic and history seem to add evidence to the *strong* correlation.
As to this study, I think it's a lot closer to being airtight than most (very large sample size, fractional percent margin of error, good science, peer reviews, findings being scrutinized and met with skepticism):
- "There are a large number of authors, all of them excellent and credible researchers," he said. "And the sample size is very large - 12 or 13 million people taken from the central reporting systems in three provinces. The research is solid."
Sadly, I'm not as dubious of this Canadian study as others and will weigh my options for my family.... :-(