Friday, March 27, 2009

Diseases in WW1

Diseases was a big killer in World War 1 because of the little medicine and medical knowledge. The Anzacs would have experienced many diseases such as influenza, typhoid, trench foot and trench fever.
Trench foot is a disease which makes your foot turn blue or red and makes your foot very numb. It often involves blisters and open sores which allows fungal infections to enter. If the foot is untreated it can result into gangrene. Trench foot is caused by exposure to damp and wet conditions. In this case it was the soldiers walking bare foot in the wet trenches. This was bad for the soldiers because it delayed the time in which they could fight. Trench fever was a serious disease. It resulted in high fever, severe head aches and serious pains in the legs and back. It takes about 5 days for the disease to start taking affect. Recovery takes about a month or two. It was transmitted by body lice. This disease was bad, because of the time that it took to recover. In rare cases people could die from this disease.
Typhoid was a deadly disease that Jim Martin died from. As it quotes in solider boy “Gallipoli’s flies and disease are worse than the Turkish bullets”. Early symptom’s that Jim Martin would have had was a temperature as high as 40 degrees Celsius, sweating and diarrhea. Later on Jim Martin experienced coughing and severe headaches. He would have got this disease from bad hygiene and filthy flies. In solider boy it states “every friggen fly in the world has to come to Gallipoli”. Dying from typhoid is an agonizing death. As you get closer to death your body cannot take in any food or water. Victims get very dehydrated. Death occurs 10 to 30% of infected people.
Lastly influenza killed 40 million people worldwide. The symptoms of influenza are sore throats, headaches, loss of appetite and blood poisoning. A large percentage of people died from this disease, once infected. It takes 3 days for the person to die. Influenza was transmitted by air. It was very bad for all the armies and nations because many people died especially India where 16 million people died.
Trench foot, trench fever, typhoid and influenza are the diseases that were around in World War 1. Most diseases made the soldiers very sick. However influenza and typhoid proved to be the deadliest diseases.
Thanks for listening.


  1. Lots of useful information, helped me SO MUCH on my homework, exactly what i was looking for.
    Thank you so much!

  2. This was so useful for my WW1 project! Thanks. P.S my name is Angela

  3. very helpful for my history paper. THANKS!

  4. very helpful for preparation of my history paper thank you so much I had 2 weeks to do it

  5. This really helped with my project! Thanks.