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Constance's World feat. the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

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This excerpt from a book on Sierra Leonean women councilors, mayors, cabinet ministers, and political candidates was first published on April 23, 2016. One of the pioneering political figures, Constance Horton Cummings-John was born during the 1918 influenza pandemic, widely regarded as the most severe in recent history. It was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin.


Imagine nursing a six-month-old baby while a deadly virus rips through town. You have neighbors hovering between life and death and your husband’s assistant has lost 21 family members to the virus.

The Spanish influenza of 1918 is regarded as the most severe pandemic in recent history. It was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin. 

First, victims experienced headaches, pain, and fever. Next, their faces turned blue-black. Then they coughed up blood and bled from the nose after. Finally, as bacteria invaded the lungs, vital organs transformed into fluid, drowning the patient.

For most sufferers, the at…