The Spanish Flu pandemic hit the world hard in 1918. 500 million people worldwide were effected. At the time, that was roughly 1/3 of the world's population. There were over 20 million victims. 675,000 were Americans.

Just like COVID-19 today, nothing much was known about the Spanish Flu back then. There were not any effective drugs or remedies of any kind.

Just like today, people were ordered to wear masks, and businesses, government offices and schools were closed. The economy was shut down and people were asked to stay home.

Also like today, the Spanish Flu came in waves. The first wave in 1918 came in the spring and was rather mild. Those who became sick felt as if they had a simple flu. Most recovered. It was the later waves that were far bigger and more deadly.

By the fall of 1918, the flu had become so deadly that many who caught it died within days. Some died in just a few hours.

Although this strain of flu was not isolated to one place, it became known as 'The Spanish Flu,' because Spain was hardest hit.

During WWI, more U.S. soldiers died from the Spanish Flu than died in battle.

The flu vaccine was not what actually ended the world's fight with Spanish Flu. The end to that pandemic was more natural: by the summer of 1919, the flu pandemic simply faded. Anyone who had it either died or was immune.

In the video BELOW, see photos of how the Spanish Flu pandemic was handled back then. Notice all of the face masks.


Wake Up Wyoming logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app


From Wuhan to New York City: A Timeline of COVID-19's Spread

More From Wake Up Wyoming