Spanish Influenza: A Brief Overview   [open pdf - 13MB]

From the Introduction: "The Spanish Flu has lived in cultural memory with varying degrees of emphasis since it first appeared early in 1918. Recent shows like 'Downton Abbey' and 'The Village' have tried to show the effects of the disease at all levels of society, but it's difficult for the screen to convey just how far-reaching the disease actually was. We do have an abundance of first-hand accounts and no end of contemporary newspaper coverage, however, so there's very little need to imagine just how damaging it was in its reach. Estimates place the death toll around the world at anywhere between 17 and 100 million, with most sources hovering around 50 million, a number that exceeds the combined number of military and civilian casualties from the First World War. The uncertainty lies mainly with the state of record keeping at the time, a concern that undoubtedly obscures our ability to understand the entire scope of the pandemic."

Institute for Defense Analyses. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
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