What year was the Spanish flu pandemic, how many people died and was it worse than Covid-19? – The Sun

THE Spanish flu was the most devastating pandemic in modern history, with one-third of world's population getting infected.

It was caused by a virus with genes of an avian origin, according to the CDC, and was otherwise known as the swine flu.


About 10 percent of patients who contracted the Spanish flu died from it.

When was the Spanish flu?

The outbreak began during the final months of World War I.

It was first identified in soldiers in the spring of 1918, and spread worldwide, lasting until the following year.

Historians believe the war may have been somewhat to blame for spreading the virus.

Most soldiers lived in dirty and cramped spaces, and many had weakened immune systems due to malnourishment.

With soldiers in close contact with each other it would spread quickly, including when they returned home on leave.


It was called the Spanish flu even though there was no consensus where the pandemic originated, the CDC says.

A researcher speculated in 2005 that the pandemic may have even started in New York City.

How many people died in the Spanish flu pandemic?

About 50million people died around the world, and 675,000 lost their lives in the US.

A total of 500million people were infected with the virus.

People who were 65 and older, between 20 and 40 and children under five were especially vulnerable.

There was a high mortality rate in healthy people, especially in the 20-to-40 age range, according to the CDC.

Antibiotics had not been invented yet, and there was no vaccine.

Symptoms included a dry cough, fatigue, stomach problems and then later massive sweating.

Many people who contracted the virus did start to feel better after about three days.

Did people quarantine during the Spanish flu?

People relied on personal hygiene – and yes, they did quarantine.

With pharmaceutical treatments not available, people isolated themselves and tried to keep themselves as clean as possible.

There were limitations of public gatherings, according to the CDC, but they were applied "unevenly."

Relaxing social distancing guidelines proved costly, including in San Francisco.


How did the Spanish flu affect the economy?

The 1918 outbreak did not send the US economy into a downward spiral, according to experts.

While the current coronavirus arrived when the stock market was thriving, the pandemic in the early 20th century came following a major downturn, according to VoxEU.

In fact, 1919 is the ninth best year for the Dow from 1915 to 2019, the news outlet reported.

“Areas that were more severely affected by the 1918 Flu Pandemic saw a sharp and persistent decline in real economic activity,” wrote economist Sergio Correa, New York Fed researcher Stephan Luck and MIT's Emil Verner, according to Forbes.

“Cities that implemented early and extensive non-pharmaceutical interventions (like physical distancing and forbidding large gatherings) suffered no adverse economic effects over the medium term.

"On the contrary, cities that intervened earlier and more aggressively experienced a relative increase in real economic activity after the pandemic subsided."

One expert believed the pandemic may have fueled the rise of the Nazi party.

How long did the Spanish flu last?

The pandemic lasted from the spring of 1918 to the summer of 1919.

Those who were infected either passed away or had immunity.

1918 Spanish flu vs Covid-19

There have been more than four million cases of the coronavirus, compared to 500 million for the Spanish flu.

While Covid-19 is far from done, the damage has been less severe – even though a second wave could be coming.

Treatments are much better in the 21st century, and the spread of the pandemic a century ago was quickened by World War I.

The US economy has suffered much worse during the current pandemic, including historic unemployment levels.

 

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