DEC 11, 2020
An unthinkable 50 to 100 million people worldwide died from the1918-1919 flupandemiccommonly known as the “Spanish Flu.”It was thedeadliestglobal pandemic since theBlack Death, and rare among flu viruses for striking down the young and healthy, often within days of exhibiting the first symptoms. In the United States, the 1918 flu pandemic lowered the average life expectancy by 12 years.
What’s even more remarkable about the 1918 flu, say infectious disease experts, is that it never really went away. After infecting an estimated 500 million people worldwide in 1918 and 1919 (a third of the global population), the H1N1 strain that caused the Spanish flu receded into the background and stuck around as the regular seasonal flu.
But every so often, direct descendants of the 1918 flu combined with bird flu or swine flu to create powerful…
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