A History of Flu Pandemics

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Jessica Snyder Sachs on Sep 26, 2012 at 3:13PM

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A History of Flu Pandemics

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Spanish Flu Kills Millions

The 20th century brought three influenza pandemics. The first, and by far the most lethal, Spanish flu, swept the globe in the wake of World War I and proved deadlier than the Great War itself. Between 1918 and 1920, it killed about 675,000 Americans and about 50 million worldwide. Young adults were hardest hit—perhaps due to a strong immune system’s overwhelming and ultimately damaging response to the novel strain known as H1N1 (Yes, it's a cousin to the H1N1 strain that's causing the current pandemic.)

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