The "Spanish Flu" pandemic of 1918-1919 was the most deadly outbreak of influenza to occur in recent history. Worldwide, over 21 million people died of this influenza, many of them young and otherwise fit. It hit quickly and it hit hard -- it is said that a person could be feeling fine in the morning, feel a little poorly in the afternoon, and be dead by nightfall of the same day. It is thought to have originated somewhere in China. The first wave hit North America in the spring of 1918, brought in by soldiers returning home from the war. In the fall and winter of that year, it returned in a more devastating second wave that traversed the globe. The third wave, much less virulent than the second wave, hit in the spring of 1919.
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The 1918 Influenza Pandemic
History of this pandemic, the public health measures taken to limit it, and the efforts of scientists to pinpoint its cause.
The American Experience: Influenza 1918
Information on the film from the PBS series. Features include, maps, timelines and people and events relating to this devastating occurrence.
Bird flu, Influenza and 1918: The Case for Mutant Avian Tuberculosis
Medical hypothesis by Lawrence Broxmeyer MD linking the swine flu, bird flu and the pandemic of 1918 to genetic material that the influenza virus "borrowed" from tuberculosis. [PDF]
Influenza 1918, A Venus Connection?
An American suggestion that some viruses come from outer space led British astronomers to hypothesize that Venus was a likely origin for solar-wind borne liquefying bacterial invasions.
The Pennsylvania Gazette: The Flu of 1918
An account of the outbreak based on contemporary newspaper accounts of its progress through Philadelphia.
Wikipedia: Spanish Flu
Article about the 1918 Influenza pandemic with a look to geographical origins and social impact.
Last update:October 4, 2016 at 5:57:03 UTC