Today in World History: March 11th

On this day in 1918, the first case of the deadly epidemics of the Spanish Flu was found. Called the Spanish Flu because of its supposed origin in Spain, it actually most likely originated elsewhere, yet it gained its reputation for its Iberian origin due to Spain’s neutrality in the war. The radios and the newspapers of the Allies and the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its allies were still at odds with Spain over its decision, and the fact that Spain had relatively little to report during this time of conflict led to its mistaken identity. From 1918 to 1920, the disease infected more than 500 million people across the world, killing anywhere from fifty to one hundred million of them, or three to five percent of the world’s total population at the time, making it one of the deadliest epidemics in human history.

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