Spanish Flu

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic claiming over 4,500 people across the world, the 1918 Spanish Influenza is being discussed.

About the Pandemic

The Spanish Flu pandemic took place in 1918 and is considered as one of the deadliest epidemics in the world. It infected more than one quarter (500 million) of the world’s population and claimed anywhere between 17 million to 50 million lives.

The Disease

The pandemic was caused by the H1N1 influenza virus. It was a deadly strain of avian influenza virus. It affected the lung cells of the patients and caused death due to cytokine storm syndrome- in which the patient’s immune system attacked the tissues instead of the virus.


The 1918 pandemic was aggravated by the wartime conditions of the period. Some of the factors that contributed to its high impact are malnutrition, overcrowding in hospitals and medical camps, poor hygiene, lack of freedom to report, etc.


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