Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More about the Spanish Flu

Sign warning about the number of cases caused by the Spanish Flu at a Navy factory

Yesterday we studied that the total number of casualties of WW1 increased due to the Spanish Flu. The flu virus was brought to Europe by the USA soldiers who started arriving in the battle fields at the beginning of 1918. After four years of war the population of the belligerent countries was weak, due to food rationing and famines, and the virus quickly spread across the continent and became a pandemic (world epidemic). But, why was this pandemic called "Spanish Flu"? As Spain was neutral during the war, there was no censorship about the number of dead and the Spanish press was the first to publish news about the effects of the pandemic. This is why the flu started being known as the "Spanish Flu". From Europe the virus extended to Asia and Africa. The Spanish Flu killed between 50-100 million people in two years. 

Map showing the expansion of the pandemics

If you want to read more about the Spanish Flu, here you have some links: 

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