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Sunday, May 24, 2020

1918 Flu Epidemic

"The Spanish flu, also known as the 1918 flu pandemic, was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus. Lasting about 15 months from spring 1918 (northern hemisphere) to early summer 1919, it infected 500 million people – about a third of the world's population at the time. The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history."

The graph above shows Spanish Flu deaths in four major cities.  

The initial death toll was relatively mild in June through September.
But deaths from the disease spiked in October November of 2018.

This is the concern with Covid-19. Many 
countries are reopening 
their economy. We should find out soon whether this was wise. 

"With no vaccine to protect against influenza infection and no antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections that can be associated with influenza infections, control efforts worldwide were limited to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as isolation, quarantine, good personal hygiene, use of disinfectants, and limitations of public gatherings, which were applied unevenly."  We are doing the same things now for Covid-19 that we did back then, waiting for a vaccine or effective treatment.
There were about 675,000 deaths in the United States. The population of the USA is 318% higher today, so the equivalent deaths today would be 2,146,000.




Population USA 1918103,208,000675,000
Population USA 2019328,200,0002,146,491

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  New York Times Jan 6, 2022 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/covid-cases-deaths-tracker.html