100 years ago in Spokane: Spanish Flu Outbreak

I’ve always been intrigued by the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918. Of those who contracted the flu, 20% died. 50-100 million died worldwide — about 5% of the entire world’s population, over the course of a year.

This happened during WWI, and the massive troop movements likely led to the spread and hastening of the pandemic.

There are some excellent resources available about the Spanish Flu. Probably the best I’ve read is John M. Barry’s The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History.

There have also been some great articles in the Spokesman Review’s “100 Years Ago Today” series that discusses the effect of the Spanish Flu on the Palouse.

Barry believes that the virus actually originated in Kansas.

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