The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic

Spanish Influenza
Spanish Influenza

The Spanish influenza is considered as the deadliest pandemic of the 20th century. It is caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin. However, it is still not clear where the virus originated. The virus spread worldwide during 1918-19, infecting nearly 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population and taking lives of at least 50 million.

The mortality rate was high in people younger than 5 years old, 20-40 years old, and 65 years and older. The high mortality in healthy people, including those in the 20-40 year age group, was a unique feature of this pandemic.