1918 Influenza

The worst pandemic in modern history was the Spanish flu of 1918, which killed tens of millions of people. Today, with how interconnected the world is, it would spread faster - Bill Gates

1918 Influenza

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A century ago the Spanish flu killed 50 million—and then we forgot about it

The Spanish influenza was unusual in more ways than one. There’s its universality: Between 1918 and 1919, the particularly aggressive H1N1 virus infected 1 in 3 people on planet Earth. Its severity: The flu killed approximately 50 million. And its invisibility: Today, historians often describe it as a “forgotten” pandemic.

In some ways, they’re right. There are no monuments to the victims. There are no classic works of literature inspired by the disease’s rapid advance. In other ways, though, they’re wrong. How forgotten can a pandemic be if there is an entire PBS documentary about it? After reading countless contagious articles, visiting a virulent exhibit the Museum of…

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Last Updated : Sunday, May 10, 2020