14 Facts About Spanish flu


Spanish flu is a common name in Spain, but remains controversial there.

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Mortality rates were not appreciably above normal; in the United States ~75, 000 Spanish flu-related deaths were reported in the first six months of 1918, compared to ~63, 000 deaths during the same time period in 1915.

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In January 1919, the third wave of the Spanish flu hit Australia for the first time, where it killed around 12, 000 to 20, 000 people following the lifting of a maritime quarantine, and then spread quickly through Europe and the United States, where it lingered through the spring and until June 1919.

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The Territory of Hawaii experienced its peak of the pandemic in early 1920, recording 1, 489 deaths from Spanish flu-related causes, compared with 615 in 1918 and 796 in 1919.

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Spanish flu's study found that in late 1916 the Etaples camp was hit by the onset of a new disease with high mortality that caused symptoms similar to the flu.

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Spanish flu found archival evidence that a respiratory illness that struck northern China in November 1917 was identified a year later by Chinese health officials as identical to the Spanish flu.

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Studies have shown that the immune system of Spanish flu victims was weakened by adverse climate conditions which were particularly unseasonably cold and wet for extended periods of time during the duration of the pandemic.

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Spanish flu provides data that the viral waves hit the Central Powers before the Allied powers and that both morbidity and mortality in Germany and Austria were considerably higher than in Britain and France.

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The Spanish flu has been linked to the outbreak of encephalitis lethargica in the 1920s.

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In some areas, the Spanish flu was not reported on, the only mention being that of advertisements for medicines claiming to cure it.

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Spanish flu killed a much lower percentage of the world's population than the Black Death, which lasted for many more years.

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An effort to recreate the Spanish flu strain was a collaboration among the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, the USDA ARS Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

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The effort resulted in the announcement that the group had successfully determined the virus's genetic sequence, using historic tissue samples recovered by pathologist Johan Hultin from an Inuit female Spanish flu victim buried in the Alaskan permafrost and samples preserved from American soldiers Roscoe Vaughan and James Downs.

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The ages of males dying of the Spanish flu show that tuberculosis was a factor, and as males primarily had this disease at the time of the pandemic, they had a higher mortality rate.

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