The 1918 influenza pandemic

from Market Design at on February 29, 2020 at 01:48PM

Communications failures played a role in the 1918 pandemic:

A flu that brought nations to a standstill  Jennifer A. Summers

"The year was 1918 and after four grisly years of the First World War, the longed-for peace was within the grasp of the Allied powers. But little did they know, that a threat far greater than any war experienced by humans loomed over their existence.

"An influenza virus, minute in size, was slowly making its presence felt. Fuelled by the unprecedented movement of troops worldwide, it spread to almost every corner of the globe.

"The symptoms of this influenza were particularly gruesome. …

"Wartime censorship held a firm grip on influenza reports at the time, as military authorities speculated that the gas-soaked trenches and horrific conditions of the Western Front were somehow responsible. Civilians were therefore left in the dark about the approaching pandemic. Indeed, its common name ‘Spanish Flu’ is a reference to neutral Spain being the first country in the world to report its existence officially to its citizens."