Spanish Flu, only called that because the UK and US governments and media suppressed the information about it, Spain being at the time neutral and having no restrictions from either, was a case of a virus going rogue. But why did such a virus with recorded characteristics suddenly change in this manner and then change back. Most people say because of a certain mutation that came about and through herd immunity just disappeared again. But what if this was the simplistic answer from 100 years later without anybody being on the spot or able to look at it in the field?
Everybody and their dog has studied this distant memory of what people at the time thought happened and come up with various scenarios.
You may discuss the genetic character and why certain branches cause varying effects due to minor chemical or structural changes that become relevant then not, or the answer may be much simpler. We know the common cold is not just one virus, but something like 40% rhinoviruses, 14% coronaviruses, 9% adenoviruses and 3% influenza viruses. Individually they add up to 66%, the rest, 34% almost certainly a combination of those 4 or unknown viruses that we can’t yet define, each having a number of strains anyway.
There were about 100 main strains of rhinovirus, 4 main strains of coronavirus, 50 main strains of adenovirus, and 8 main types of influenza virus that can infect humans. So any cold can be a something like a set of 1-5 infections from 160,000 combinations of viruses. Has SARS and MERS been completely eradicated, as if they haven’t then there are 3 new coronaviruses out there, not just an extra 1 for the mix?
So, as far as suddenly going rogue, what if it was simply two or more viruses adding to and combining in one set of infections that were currently commonplace and equally spreading, the influenza H1N1 simply being the dangerous addition to the mix?
Imagine two hypothetical viruses A1B1 and C1D1 that are spreading rapidly, with A1B1 or C1D1, or both, causing few real problems. Along comes a slightly more aggressive virus strain of H1N1 that by itself is noticeable but not remarkably so.
A1B1, no problem
C1D1, no problem
A1B1 and C1D1, no problem
A1B1 and H1N1, problems, C1D1 and H1N1, problems, A1B1, C1D1 and H1N1 major problems.
This would only show up in areas over overlap, then it could be very bad.
If this were the case then you would not need 3 or 4 waves of the same type of infection that somehow changes with unpredictable and varying results and structures, it would be 3 standard and pretty unvarying viruses expaning at different rates and into various areas giving 4 different effects.
The reason why I suggest this is that soon the influenza season will come upon us and we have a new player, Covid-19, in the game. Seasonal flu, which last year showed a slightly higher problem than previous years, with an additional Covid-19 with its 6-10 times normal flu mortality, not disappearing completely as a seasonal event and still going strong, leading to a flu/covid combined infection increasing the potency of both.