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100 Years On – Flu

In the second half of 1918, the second and largest wave of deaths caused by a worldwide flu pandemic built to a crescendo that killed more people than World War I.   While its origin is open to debate, it was soon rampant in every part of the world.

The conditions at training posts in the United States and in the battlefields of the First World War were almost tailor-made for the spread of the flu.  Soldiers on both sides of the trenches were falling to the illness in droves by the time the war ended.  When they returned home after the Armistice, the virus went with them to all the corners of the globe.

The Spanish Flu, in three waves that stretched between 1917 and 1920, killed between 50 and 100 million people worldwide.  To put that in perspective, if a similar outbreak were to occur now, it would kill between 230 and 380 million people.

2 Comments

  1. OldNFO

     /  October 26, 2018

    That’s true, and the anti-vaxers are pushing us toward repeats of ‘something’. We’ve already seen measles outbreaks, and apparently some polio cases have recurred…

    • I read a book a few years ago about the flu. it happened right at the turning point where medical science went from “miasma” to “pathogen” as the cause of disease. I like to hope that a pandemic would be fought more effectively than it was back then.

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