How Deadly Was the 1918 Influenza Pandemic?

One hundred years ago, about 500 million people came down with the flu, resulting in a death toll that was higher than that of any war. The so-called "Spanish flu" swept across the world in 1918, killing an estimated 50 to 100 million people. At the time, that was as much as 5 percent of the global population, a deadly toll that is considered “the greatest medical holocaust in history.” The end came swiftly for many -- more than two-thirds of the fatalities died during a 10-week period in the autumn of that year.

When flu ravaged the world:

  • The Spanish flu infected the upper respiratory tract and then took up residence in the lungs. Many died within hours of contracting the virus. The infected bled from the nose, ears, and eyes.

  • Many victims died of starvation because they were too weak and too sick to eat. Those who hadn’t yet contracted the virus were sometimes too afraid to help them.

  • Despite the name, the flu didn’t actually start in Spain. World War I was raging in 1918, and reports of the pandemic were suppressed in warring countries. Spain was neutral and didn’t hide the harsh facts.

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More Info: The Washington Post

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The curse of God for men killing each other during the war.

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