Spanish Flu Pandemic (jan 1, 1918 – dec 31, 1920)
Towards the end of World War I, it was noticed that a particular strain of influenza began to spread rapidly across Europe. Due to the lack of information, historians are not certain exactly where this flu originated, but due to the close proximity that many were living it at the time, such as troops of soldiers and overcrowded hospitals, this influenza was passed on unusually quickly.
The exact figures of people affected by this flu were minimized at the time to maintain morale during the war, however in the neutral country of Spain the effects were freely reported on, giving the impression that the country had been hit particularly hard. This association with Spain gave the influenza the nickname "Spanish flu".
Between the beginning of 1918 to the end of 1920, the Spanish flu appeared in almost every continent on the planet. Europe, the United States, India, Asia, the Middle-East, and New Zealand were all among those reporting outbreaks. The flu even affected those in remote areas of the world, with thousands dying in the Pacific islands and even Native village communities in Alaska.
By the time it had declined around the beginning of 1921, the Spanish flu had infected 500 million people worldwide, and killed an estimated three to five percent of Earth's population. Despite these devastating figures, the pandemic was reported on very little in the media. Around that time, small outbreaks of typhoid, yellow fever, and cholera had occurred, possibly lessening the significance of this new influenza in the minds of the public. As well as this, the main focus of people was on the war and it's effects on the world, perhaps linking the deaths from the flu as just another extension of the wartime tragedies. In any case, the severity and spread of the Spanish flu marked it down as one of the deadliest epidemics in human history.
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