Diseases of WWI

Topics: Infection, Infectious disease, Disease Pages: 3 (869 words) Published: October 9, 2013

All though many wars are known for deaths due to harsh fighting, World War I was known for many reasons for soldier’s deaths. It was very hard for soldier’s to get the type of medical care and technology that we have today, and difficult to be cured. In this case, during World War I diseases were very common and were spread thoroughly.

Fighting in the WWI meant being high at risk of death. Soldiers were constantly doing life threatening duties. Deaths numbers were so intense that “after a year and a half of fighting, more than 53,000 Americans died from combat related injuries” (Kinder).

If a soldier was not killed, it was very likely that they were at least severely injured or wounded. “It was nearly impossible to escape the war without some kind of injury or decline in health” (Kinder). Not only that, but it was 224,000 or more Americans that were wounded from fighting in the World War, not just temporarily, but majority in permanent injuries. The war left more than 200,000 soldiers disabled for the rest of their lives. Injuries have impacted not only the soldier’s lives, but the families as well, leaving their loved ones needing help at all times. Being crippled could mean being incapable of doing things physically, or even mentally. Wars such as this have also been known for leaving many emotionally unstable.

Disease was a large portion during, and even after the war. “Infectious diseases such as influenza, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and measles killed 63,000 soldiers and more” (Kinder). The illnesses and infections would spread fluently through the trenches; due to how tightly the soldiers were set together. Men with serious illness would be incapacitated for several days or even weeks. Hoping for recovery, thousands more would stay in hospitals to cure and stay away from interactions.

To start with, the trenches were outrageously dirty, packed with soldiers and the greatest cause for disease. Diseases that infected one, would instantly lead...
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