1918 flu pandemic
The 1918 flu pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920) was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus. It infected 500 million people across the world, including remote Pacific islands and the Arctic, and killed 50 to 100 million of them—three to five percent of the world's population—making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.
Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill juvenile, elderly, or already weakened patients; in contrast the 1918 pandemic predominantly killed previously healthy young adults. Modern research, using virus taken from the bodies of frozen victims, has concluded that the virus kills through a cytokine storm (overreaction of the body's immune system). The strong immune reactions of young adults ravaged the body, whereas the weaker immune systems of children and middle-aged adults resulted in fewer deaths among those groups.
To maintain morale, Federico Romero, one of the librettists, quipped that the play's most popular musical number, Naples Soldier, was as catchy as the flu.
- Hypotheses about source 1.1
- Spread 1.2
- Around the globe 2.1
- Patterns of fatality 2.2
- Deadly second wave 2.3
- Devastated communities 2.4
- Less-affected areas 2.5
- Aspirin poisoning 2.6
- End of the pandemic 2.7
- Legacy 3
- Spanish flu research 4
- In popular culture 5
- Gallery 6
- Notes 7.1
- Bibliography 7.2
- Further reading 7.3
- External links 8
Hypotheses about source
Investigative work by a British team led by virologist John Oxford of St Bartholomew's Hospital and the Royal London Hospital, identified a major troop staging and hospital camp in Étaples, France as almost certainly being the center of the 1918 flu pandemic. A significant precursor virus was harbored in birds, and mutated to pigs that were kept near the front.
Earlier hypotheses of the epidemic's origin have varied. Some hypothesized the flu originated in the Far East. Dr. C. Hannoun, leading expert of the 1918 flu for the Institut Pasteur, asserted the former virus was likely to have come from China, mutated in the United States near Boston, and spread to Brest, France, Europe's battlefields, Europe, and the world using Allied soldiers and sailors as main spreaders. Hannoun considered several other hypotheses of origin, such as Spain, Kansas, and Brest, as being possible, but not likely.
Political scientist Andrew Price-Smith published data from the Austrian archives suggesting the influenza had earlier origins, beginning in Austria in the spring of 1917.
Historian Mark Humphries of Canada's Memorial University of Newfoundland states that newly unearthed records confirm that one of the side stories of the war, the mobilization of 96,000 Chinese laborers to work behind the British and French lines on World War I's western front, may have been the source of the pandemic. In the new report, Humphries finds archival evidence that a respiratory illness that struck northern China in November 1917 was identified a year later by Chinese health officials as identical to the Spanish flu.
The close quarters and massive troop movements of World War I hastened the pandemic and probably both increased transmission and augmented mutation; the war may also have increased the lethality of the virus. Some speculate the soldiers' immune systems were weakened by malnourishment, as well as the stresses of combat and chemical attacks, increasing their susceptibility.
A large factor in the worldwide occurrence of this flu was increased travel. Modern transportation systems made it easier for soldiers, sailors, and civilian travelers to spread the disease.
In the United States, the disease was first observed in Haskell County, Kansas, in January 1918, prompting local doctor Loring Miner to warn the U.S. Public Health Service's academic journal. On 4 March 1918, company cook Albert Gitchell reported sick at Fort Riley, Kansas. By noon on 11 March 1918, over 100 soldiers were in the hospital. Within days, 522 men at the camp had reported sick. By 11 March 1918 the virus had reached Queens, New York. Failure to take preventative measures in March/April was later criticised.
In August 1918, a more virulent strain appeared simultaneously in Brest, France, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and in the U.S. in Boston, Massachusetts. The Allies of World War I came to call it the Spanish flu, primarily because the pandemic received greater press attention after it moved from France to Spain in November 1918. Spain was not involved in the war and had not imposed wartime censorship.
Around the globe
The global mortality rate from the 1918/1919 pandemic is not known, but an estimated 10% to 20% of those who were infected died. With about a third of the world population infected, this case-fatality ratio means 3% to 6% of the entire global population died. Influenza may have killed as many as 25 million people in its first 25 weeks. Older estimates say it killed 40–50 million people, while current estimates say 50–100 million people worldwide were killed.
This pandemic has been described as "the greatest medical holocaust in history" and may have killed more people than the Black Death. It is said that this flu killed more people in 24 weeks than AIDS has killed in 24 years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century.
In Japan, 23 million people were affected, and 390,000 died. In the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), 1.5 million were assumed to have died among 30 million inhabitants. In Tahiti, 13% of the population died during only a month. Similarly, in Samoa in November 1918, 22% of the population of 38,000 died within two months.
In the U.S., about 28% of the population suffered, and 500,000 to 675,000 died. Native American tribes were particularly hard hit. In the Four Corners area alone, 3,293 deaths were registered among Native Americans. Entire village communities perished in Alaska. In Canada 50,000 died. In Brazil 300,000 died, including president Rodrigues Alves. In Britain, as many as 250,000 died; in France, more than 400,000. In West Africa, an influenza epidemic killed at least 100,000 people in Ghana. Tafari Makonnen (the future Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia) was one of the first Ethiopians who contracted influenza but survived, although many of his family's subjects did not; estimates for the fatalities in the capital city, Addis Ababa, range from 5,000 to 10,000, or higher. In British Somaliland one official estimated that 7% of the native population died.
This huge death toll was caused by an extremely high infection rate of up to 50% and the extreme severity of the symptoms, suspected to be caused by cytokine storms. Symptoms in 1918 were so unusual that initially influenza was misdiagnosed as dengue, cholera, or typhoid. One observer wrote, "One of the most striking of the complications was hemorrhage from mucous membranes, especially from the nose, stomach, and intestine. Bleeding from the ears and petechial hemorrhages in the skin also occurred". The majority of deaths were from bacterial pneumonia, a secondary infection caused by influenza, but the virus also killed people directly, causing massive hemorrhages and edema in the lung.
The unusually severe disease killed up to 20% of those infected, as opposed to the usual flu epidemic mortality rate of 0.1%.
Patterns of fatality
An unusual feature of this pandemic was that it mostly killed young adults. In 1918–1919, 99% of pandemic influenza deaths in the US occurred in people under 65, and nearly half in young adults 20 to 40 years old. In 1920 the mortality rate among people under 65 had decreased six-fold to half the mortality rate of people over 65, but still 92% of deaths occurred in people under 65. This is noteworthy, since influenza is normally most deadly to weak individuals, such as infants (under age two), the very old (over age 70), and the immunocompromised. In 1918, older adults may have had partial protection caused by exposure to the 1889–1890 flu pandemic, known as the Russian flu. According to historian John M. Barry, the most vulnerable of all – "those most likely, of the most likely", to die – were pregnant women. He reported that in thirteen studies of hospitalized women in the pandemic, the death rate ranged from 23% to 71%. Of the pregnant women who survived childbirth, over one-quarter (26%) lost the child.
Another oddity was that the outbreak was widespread in the summer and autumn (in the Northern Hemisphere); influenza is usually worse in winter.
Modern analysis has shown the virus to be particularly deadly because it triggers a cytokine storm, which ravages the stronger immune system of young adults.
In fast-progressing cases, mortality was primarily from pneumonia, by virus-induced pulmonary consolidation. Slower-progressing cases featured secondary bacterial pneumonias, and there may have been neural involvement that led to mental disorders in some cases. Some deaths resulted from malnourishment.
A study conducted by He et al. used a mechanistic modelling approach to study the three waves of the 1918 influenza pandemic. They tried to study the factors that underlie variability in temporal patterns, and the patterns of mortality and morbidity. Their analysis suggests that temporal variations in transmission rate provide the best explanation and the variation in transmission required to generate these three waves is within biologically plausible values.
Another study by He et al. used a simple epidemic model, to incorporate three factors including: school opening and closing, temperature changes over the course of the outbreak, and human behavioral changes in response to the outbreak to infer the cause of the three waves of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Their modelling results showed that all three factors are important but human behavioral responses showed the largest effects.
Deadly second wave
The second wave of the 1918 pandemic was much deadlier than the first. The first wave had resembled typical flu epidemics; those most at risk were the sick and elderly, while younger, healthier people recovered easily. But in August, when the second wave began in France, Sierra Leone and the United States, the virus had mutated to a much deadlier form.
This increased severity has been attributed to the circumstances of the First World War. In civilian life, natural selection favours a mild strain. Those who get very ill stay home, and those mildly ill continue with their lives, preferentially spreading the mild strain. In the trenches, natural selection was reversed. Soldiers with a mild strain stayed where they were, while the severely ill were sent on crowded trains to crowded field hospitals, spreading the deadlier virus. The second wave began and the flu quickly spread around the world again. Consequently, during modern pandemics health officials pay attention when the virus reaches places with social upheaval (looking for deadlier strains of the virus).
The fact that most of those who recovered from first-wave infections were now immune showed that it must have been the same strain of flu. This was most dramatically illustrated in Copenhagen, which escaped with a combined mortality rate of just 0.29% (0.02% in the first wave and 0.27% in the second wave) because of exposure to the less-lethal first wave. On the rest of the population it was far more deadly now; the most vulnerable people were those like the soldiers in the trenches – young previously healthy adults.
Even in areas where mortality was low, so many were incapacitated that much of everyday life was hampered. Some communities closed all stores or required customers to leave orders outside. There were reports that the health-care workers could not tend the sick nor the gravediggers bury the dead because they too were ill. Mass graves were dug by steam shovel and bodies buried without coffins in many places.
Several Pacific island territories were particularly hard-hit. The pandemic reached them from New Zealand, which was too slow to implement measures to prevent ships carrying the flu from leaving its ports. From New Zealand, the flu reached Tonga (killing 8% of the population), Nauru (16%) and Fiji (5%, 9,000 people).
Worst affected was Western Samoa, a territory then under New Zealand military administration. A crippling 90% of the population was infected; 30% of adult men, 22% of adult women and 10% of children died. By contrast, the flu was kept away from American Samoa when Governor John Martin Poyer imposed a blockade. In New Zealand itself, 8,573 deaths were attributed to the 1918 pandemic influenza, resulting in a total population fatality rate of 0.74%.
In Japan, 257,363 deaths were attributed to influenza by July 1919, giving an estimated 0.425% mortality rate, much lower than nearly all other Asian countries for which data are available. The Japanese government severely restricted maritime travel to and from the home islands when the pandemic struck.
In the Pacific, American Samoa and the French colony of New Caledonia also succeeded in preventing even a single death from influenza through effective quarantines. In Australia, nearly 12,000 perished.
By the end of the pandemic, only one major region on the entire planet had not reported an outbreak: an isolated island called Marajó, located in Brazil's Amazon River Delta.
In a 2009 paper published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, Karen Starko proposed that aspirin poisoning had contributed substantially to the fatalities. She based this on the reported symptoms in those dying from the flu, as reported in the post mortem reports still available, and also the timing of the big "death spike" in October 1918 which happened right after the Surgeon General of the United States Army, and the Journal of the American Medical Association both recommended very large (by today's standards) dosages of aspirin. Further, Starko suggests that the wave of aspirin poisonings was due to a "perfect storm" of events: Bayer's patent on aspirin expired, so that many companies rushed in to make a profit and greatly increased the supply; this coincided with the flu pandemic; and the symptoms of aspirin poisoning were not known at the time.
This hypothesis, insofar as it sought to provide an explanation to the universally high mortality rate, was questioned in a letter to the journal published in April 2010. In it, Andrew Noymer and Daisy Carreon of the University of California, Irvine, and Niall Johnson of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, questioned this universal applicability given the high mortality rate in countries such as India, where there was little or no access to aspirin at the time. But they overlooked the fact that inexpensive aspirin became available in India and other places after October 1918, when the Bayer patent expired.
On this basis, they concluded that "the salicylate [aspirin] poisoning hypothesis [was] difficult to sustain as the primary explanation for the unusual virulence of the 1918–1919 inﬂuenza pandemic". In responding, Starko pointed to anecdotal evidence of aspirin over-prescription in India and argued that even if aspirin over-prescription had not contributed to the high Indian mortality rate, it could still have been a major factor for other high rates in areas where other exacerbating factors present in India played less of a role.
End of the pandemic
After the lethal second wave struck in late 1918, new cases dropped abruptly – almost to nothing after the peak in the second wave. In Philadelphia, for example, 4,597 people died in the week ending 16 October, but by 11 November, influenza had almost disappeared from the city. One explanation for the rapid decline of the lethality of the disease is that doctors simply got better at preventing and treating the pneumonia that developed after the victims had contracted the virus, although John Barry stated in his book that researchers have found no evidence to support this.
Another theory holds that the 1918 virus mutated extremely rapidly to a less lethal strain. This is a common occurrence with influenza viruses: there is a tendency for pathogenic viruses to become less lethal with time, as the hosts of more dangerous strains tend to die out.
Academic Andrew Price-Smith has made the argument that the virus helped tip the balance of power in the later days of the war towards the Allied cause. He provides data that the viral waves hit the Central Powers before they hit the Allied powers, and that both morbidity and mortality in Germany and Austria were considerably higher than in Britain and France.
In the United States, Britain and other countries, despite the relatively high 
Various theories of why the Spanish flu was "forgotten" include the rapid pace of the pandemic, which killed most of its victims in the United States, for example, within a period of less than nine months, resulting in limited media coverage. The general population was familiar with patterns of pandemic disease in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: typhoid, yellow fever, diphtheria, and cholera all occurred near the same time. These outbreaks probably lessened the significance of the influenza pandemic for the public. In some areas, the flu was not reported on, the only mention being that of advertisements for medicines claiming to cure it.
In addition, the outbreak coincided with the deaths and media focus on the First World War. Another explanation involves the age group affected by the disease. The majority of fatalities, from both the war and the epidemic, were among young adults. The deaths caused by the flu may have been overlooked due to the large numbers of deaths of young men in the war or as a result of injuries. When people read the obituaries, they saw the war or postwar deaths and the deaths from the influenza side by side. Particularly in Europe, where the war's toll was extremely high, the flu may not have had a great, separate, psychological impact, or may have seemed a mere extension of the war's tragedies.
The duration of the pandemic and the war could have also played a role. The disease would usually only affect a certain area for a month before leaving, while the war, which most had initially expected to end quickly, had lasted for four years by the time the pandemic struck. This left little time for the disease to have a significant impact on the economy.
One final issue that the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak had on the world was the effects on the global economy. Many businesses in the entertainment and service industries suffered losses in revenue, but the health care industry reported profit gains.
Historian Nancy Bristow has argued that the pandemic, when combined with the increasing number of women attending college, contributed to the success of women in the field of nursing. This was due in part to the failure of medical doctors, who were predominantly men, to contain and prevent the illness. Nursing staff, who were predominantly women, felt more inclined to celebrate the success of their patient care and less inclined to identify the spread of the disease with their own work.
In Spain, sources from the period explicitly linked the Spanish flu to the cultural figure of Don Juan. The nickname for the flu, the "Naples Soldier," was adopted from Federico Romero and
- "Web Focus" on 1918 flu, including new researchNature
- Influenza Pandemic on stanford.edu
- The Great Pandemic: The U.S. in 1918–1919. US Dept. of HHS
- The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918–1919: A Digital Encyclopedia Largest digital collection of newspapers, archival manuscripts and interpretive essays exploring the impact of the epidemic on 50 U.S. cities (Univ. of Michigan).
- Little evidence for New York City quarantine in 1918 pandemic. 27 Nov 2007 (CIDRAP News)
- Flu by Eileen A. Lynch. The devastating effect of the Spanish flu in the city of Philadelphia, PA, USA
- Dialog: An Interview with Dr. Jeffery Taubenberger on Reconstructing the Spanish Flu
- The Deadly Virus – The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 US National Archives and Records Administration – pictures and records of the time
- The 1918 Influenza Pandemic in New Zealand – includes recorded recollections of people who lived through it
- PBS – recovery of flu samples from Alaskan flu victims
- An Avian Connection as a Catalyst to the 1918–1919 Influenza Pandemic
- Fluwiki.com Annotated links to articles, books and scientific research on the 1918 influenza pandemic
- Alaska Science Forum – Permafrost Preserves Clues to Deadly 1918 Flu
- Pathology of Influenza in France, 1920 Report
- Yesterday's News blog 1918 newspaper account on impact of flu on Minneapolis
- "Study uncovers a lethal secret of 1918 influenza virus" University of Wisconsin – Madison, 17 January 2007
- Spanish Influenza in North America, 1918–1919
- 1918 Influenza Virus and memory B-cells – Exposure to virus generates lifelong immune response.
- Influenza Research Database – Database of influenza genomic sequences and related information.
- Spanish Flu with rare pictures from Otis Historical Archives
- "No Ordinary Flu" a comic book of the 1918 flu pandemic published by Seattle & King County Public Health
- The American Experience (PBS)"Influenza 1918"
- "Closing in on a Killer: Scientists Unlock Clues to the Spanish Influenza Virus" An online exhibit from the National Museum of Health and Medicine.
- Sources for the study of the 1918 influenza pandemic in Sheffield, UK Produced by Sheffield City Council's Libraries and Archives
- , 27 February 2000.Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It interview with Gina Kolata on Booknotes
- Duncan, Kirsty (2003). Hunting the 1918 flu: one scientist's search for a killer virus (illustrated ed.). University of Toronto Press.
- Humphries, Mark Osborne. The Last Plague: Spanish Influenza and the Politics of Public Health in Canada (University of Toronto Press; 29013) examines the public-policy impact of the 1918 epidemic, which killed 50,000 Canadians.
- Johnson, Niall (2006). Britain and the 1918–19 Influenza Pandemic: A Dark Epilogue. London and New York: Routledge.
- Johnson, Niall (2003). "Measuring a pandemic: Mortality, demography and geography". Popolazione e Storia: 31–52.
- Johnson, Niall (2003). "Scottish 'flu – The Scottish mortality experience of the "Spanish flu". Scottish Historical Review 83 (2): 216–226.
- Noymer, Andrew; Michel Garenne (2000). "The 1918 Influenza Epidemic's Effects on Sex Differentials in Mortality in the United States". Population and Development Review 26 (3): 565–581.
- Oxford JS, Sefton A, Jackson R, Innes W, Daniels RS, Johnson NP (2002). "World War I may have allowed the emergence of "Spanish" influenza". The Lancet infectious diseases 2 (2): 111–4.
- Oxford JS, Sefton A, Jackson R, Johnson NP, Daniels RS (1999). "Who's that lady?". Nat. Med. 5 (12): 1351–2.
- Pettit, Dorothy; Janice Bailie (2008). A Cruel Wind: Pandemic Flu in America, 1918–1920. Murfreesboro, TN: Timberlane Books.
- Phillips, Howard; David Killingray (eds) (2003). The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918: New Perspectives. London and New York: Routledge.
- Rice, Geoffrey W.; Edwina Palmer (1993). "Pandemic Influenza in Japan, 1918–1919: Mortality Patterns and Official Responses". Journal of Japanese Studies 19 (2): 389–420.
- Tumpey TM,
- Antonovics, J.; Hood, M. E.; Baker, C. H. (2006). "Molecular virology: was the 1918 flu avian in origin?". Nature 440 (7088): E9, E10.
- Benedict, Michael Les;
- Billings, Molly (1997). "The 1918 Influenza Pandemic". Virology at Stanford University. Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2009.
- Bristow, Nancy K. American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic (OUP, 2012)
- "1918 Influenza: the Mother of All Pandemics". Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
- Chandra, S.; Kuljanin, G.; Wray, J. (2012). "Mortality From the Influenza Pandemic of 1918–1919: The Case of India". Demography 49 (3): 857–865.
- Collier, Richard (1974). The Plague of the Spanish Lady – The Influenza Pandemic of 1918–19. Atheneum.
- Crosby, Alfred W. (1976). Epidemic and Peace, 1918. Westport, Ct: Greenwood Press.
- Crosby, Alfred W. (2003). America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918 (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Davis, Ryan A. (2013). The Spanish Flu: Narrative and Cultural Identity in Spain, 1918. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Denoon, Donald (2004). "New Economic Orders: Land, Labour and Dependency". In Denoon, Donald. The Cambridge History of the Pacific Islanders. CUP. p. 247.
- dos Reis, M.; Hay, A. J.; Goldstein, R. A. (2009), "Using Non-Homogeneous Models of Nucleotide Substitution to Identify Host Shift Events: Application to the Origin of the 1918 'Spanish' Influenza Pandemic Virus", Journal of Molecular Evolution 69 (4): 333–345,
- Ewald, Paul W. (1994). Evolution of infectious disease. OUP.
- Fox, Maggie (29 December 2008). "Researchers unlock secrets of 1918 flu pandemic". Reuters. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
- Fox, Maggie (16 June 2010). "Swine flu shot protects against 1918 flu: study". Reuters.
- Galvin, John (31 July 2007). "Spanish Flu Pandemic: 1918".
- Garrett, T. A. (2007). Economic Effects of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Implications for a Modern-day Pandemic (PDF).
- Gladwell, Malcolm (29 September 1997). "The Dead Zone". New Yorker.
- Hays, J. N. (1998). The Burdens of Disease: Epidemics and Human Response in Western History. p. 274.
- He, Dai Hai; Dushoff, Jonathan; Day, Troy; Ma, Junling; Earn, David J. D. (2011). "Mechanistic modelling of the three waves of the 1918 influenza pandemic". Theoretical Ecology 4 (2): 283–288.
- He, Dai Hai; Dushoff, Jonathan; Day, Troy; Ma, Junling; Earn, David J. D. (2013). "Inferring the causes of the three waves of the 1918 influenza pandemic in England and Wales". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 280 (1766): 20131345.
- Honigsbaum, Mark (2008). Living with Enza: The Forgotten Story of Britain and the Great Flu Pandemic of 1918. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Humphries, Mark Osborne. "Paths of Infection: The First World War and the Origins of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic" (pdf). War in History 21 (1): 55–81.
- Johnson, Niall P.; Mueller, J. (2002). "Updating the accounts: global mortality of the 1918–1920 "Spanish" influenza pandemic". Bull Hist Med 76 (1): 105–115.
- Knobler, S.; Mack, A.; Mahmoud, A.; et al. (eds.). "1: The Story of Influenza". The Threat of Pandemic Influenza: Are We Ready? Workshop Summary (2005). Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. pp. 60–61.
- Kobasa, Darwyn; Jones, Steven M.; Shinya, Kyoko; Kash, John C.; Copps, John; Ebihara, Hideki; Hatta, Yasuko; Kim, Jin Hyun; Halfmann, Peter; Hatta, Masato; Feldmann, Friederike; Alimonti, Judie B.; Fernando, Lisa; Li, Yan; Katze, Michael G.; Feldmann, Heinz; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro (2007). "Aberrant innate immune response in lethal infection of macaques with the 1918 influenza virus". Nature 445 (7125): 319–323.
- Kohn, George C. (2007). Encyclopedia of plague and pestilence: from ancient times to the present (3rd ed.). Infobase Publishing. p. 363.
- Madhav, Nita (21 February 2013). Markey, Molly J., ed. "Modeling a Modern-Day Spanish Flu Pandemic". AIR's Research and Modeling Group. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- Morrisey, Carla R. (1986). "The Influenza Epidemic of 1918". Navy Medicine 77 (3): 11–17.
- Noymer, Andrew; Carreon, Daisy; Johnson, Niall (2010). "Questioning the salicylates and influenza pandemic mortality hypothesis in 1918–1919". Clinical infectious diseases 50 (8): 1203.
- Pankhurst, Richard (1991). An Introduction to the Medical History of Ethiopia. Trenton: Red Sea Press.
- Patterson, K. D.; Pyle, G. F. (1991). "The geography and mortality of the 1918 influenza pandemic". Bull Hist Med 65 (1): 4–21.
- Phillips, Howard (2010). "The re-appearing shadow of 1918: trends in the historiography of the 1918–19 influenza pandemic". Can Bull Med Hist 21 (1): 121–134.
- Porras-Gallo, Maria; Davis, Ryan A., eds. (2014). "The Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918–1919: Perspectives from the Iberian Peninsula and the Americas". Rochester Studies in Medical History 30. University of Rochester Press.
- Potter, C. W. (October 2006). "A History of Influenza". J Appl Microbiol 91 (4): 572–579.
- Price-Smith, Andrew T. (2008). Contagion and Chaos. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Simonsen, L.; Clarke, M.; Schonberger, L.; Arden, N.; Cox, N.; Fukuda, K. (1998). "Pandemic versus Epidemic Influenza Mortality: A Pattern of Changing Age Distribution". The Journal of Infectious Diseases 178 (1): 53–60.
- Starko, Karen M. (2009). "Salicylates and Pandemic Influenza Mortality, 1918–1919, Pharmacology, Pathology, and Historic Evidence". Clinical Infectious Diseases 49 (9): 1405–1410.
- Starko, Karen M. (2010). "Reply to Noymer et al.". Clinical Infectious Diseases 50 (8): 1203.
- Taubenberger, J.; Reid, A.; Janczewski, T.; Fanning, T. (2001). "Integrating historical, clinical and molecular genetic data in order to explain the origin and virulence of the 1918 Spanish influenza virus". Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 356 (1416).
- Taubenberger, J.; Reid, A.; Lourens, R. M.; Wang, R.; Jin, G.; Fanning, T. G. (2005). "Characterization of the 1918 influenza virus polymerase genes". Nature 437 (7060): 889–893.
- Taubenberger, Jeffery K.; Morens, David M. (2006). "1918 Influenza: the mother of all pandemics". Emerging Infectious Diseases (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 12 (1).
- Valentine, Vikki (20 February 2006). "Origins of the 1918 Pandemic: The Case for France".
- Vana, G.; Westover, K. M. (2008). "Origin of the 1918 Spanish influenza virus: a comparative genomic analysis". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 47 (3): 1100–1110.
- Vilensky, J. A.; Foley, P.; Gilman, S. (2007). "Children and encephalitis lethargica: a historical". Pediatr Neurol 37 (2): 79–84.
- (Powerpoint presentation in French)Institut Pasteur. La Grippe Espagnole de 1918.
- Taubenberger & Morens 2006.
- "Historical Estimates of World Population". Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- Patterson & Pyle 1991.
- Billings 1997.
- Johnson & Mueller 2002.
- Barry 2004.
- Vilensky, Foley & Gilman 2007.
- Valentine 2006.
- Anderson, Susan (29 August 2006). "Analysis of Spanish flu cases in 1918–1920 suggests transfusions might help in bird flu pandemic".
- Porras-Gallo & Davis 2014.
- Barry 2004, p. 171.
- Galvin 2007.
- Davis 2013, pp. 103–104 cited María Encina Cortizo
- "EU Research Profile on Dr. John Oxford". Archived from the original on 11 May 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2009.
- Connor, Steve, "Flu epidemic traced to Great War transit camp", The Guardian (UK), Saturday, 8 January 2000. Accessed 2009-05-09. Archived 11 May 2009.
- 1918 killer flu secrets revealed. BBC News. 5 February 2004.
- Hannoun, Claude, "La Grippe", Ed Techniques EMC (Encyclopédie Médico-Chirurgicale), Maladies infectieuses, 8-069-A-10, 1993. Documents de la Conférence de l'Institut Pasteur : La Grippe Espagnole de 1918.
- Crosby 2003.
- Barry 2004b.
- Price-Smith 2008.
- Humphries 2014.
- 1918 Flu Pandemic That Killed 50 Million Originated in China, Historians Say: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140123-spanish-flu-1918-china-origins-pandemic-science-health/
- Ewald 1994.
- Film: We Heard the Bells: The Influenza of 1918 (2010). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- "Influenza 1918". American Experience. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- 1918 Flu (Spanish flu epidemic)Avian Bird Flu. .
- Spanish flu strikes during World War I, Timelines of great Epidemics, xtimeline.com.
- Channel 4 – News – Spanish flu facts.
- Taubenberger & Morens 2006, pp. 15–22.
- CDC 2009.
- Knobler 2005.
- Potter 2006.
- Flu experts warn of need for pandemic plansBritish Medical Journal.
- Chandra, Kuljanin & Wray 2012.
- "Spanish Influenza in Japanese Armed Forces, 1918–1920". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Historical research report from University of Indonesia, School of History, as reported in Emmy Fitri. Looking Through Indonesia's History For Answers to Swine Flu. The Jakarta Globe. 28 October 2009 edition.
- Kohn 2007.
- The Great Pandemic: The United States in 1918–1919, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
- "Flu Epidemic Hit Utah Hard in 1918, 1919". 28 March 1995. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- "The Great Pandemic of 1918: State by State". Archived from the original on 6 May 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- "A deadly virus rages throughout Canada at the end of the First World War". CBC History.
- "A gripe espanhola no Brasil – Elísio Augusto de Medeiros e Silva, empresário, escritor e membro da AEILIJ" (in Portuguese). Jornal de Hoje. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- The "bird flu" that killed 40 million. BBC News. 19 October 2005.
- Hays 1998.
- Harold Marcus, Haile Sellassie I: The formative years, 1892–1936 (Trenton: Red Sea Press, 1996), pp. 36f
- Pankhurst 1991, pp. 48f.
- Pankhurst 1991, p. 63.
- Pankhurst 1991, pp. 51ff.
- Taubenberger et al. 2001, pp. 1829–1839.
- Simonsen et al. 1998.
- Hanssen, Olav. Undersøkelser over influenzaens optræden specielt i Bergen 1918–1922. Bg. 1923. 66 s. ill. (Haukeland sykehus. Med.avd.Arb. 2) (Klaus Hanssens fond. Skr. 3)
- Barry 2004, p. 239.
- Key Facts about Swine Influenza  accessed 22:45 GMT-6 30 April 2009. Archived 4 May 2009.
- He et al. 2011.
- He et al. 2013.
- UK Parliament – http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.com/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldsctech/88/88.pdf Accessed 2009-05-06. Archived 8 May 2009.
- Gladwell 1997, p. 55.
- Gladwell 1997, p. 63.
- Fogarty International Center. "Summer Flu Outbreak of 1918 May Have Provided Partial Protection Against Lethal Fall Pandemic". Fic.nih.gov. Retrieved 2012-05-19.
- Gladwell 1997, p. 56.
- Fortune article " Viruses of Mass Destruction" written 1 November 2004. accessed 01:12 GMT+1 30 April 2009
- Denoon 2004.
- Rice 2005, p. 221.
- Influenza Pandemic 1919. Portland VictoriaAnne Grant, History House, Portland. .
- Ryan, Jeffrey, ed. Pandemic influenza: emergency planning and community preparedness. Boca Raton : CRC Press, 2009. P. 24
- Starko 2009.
- Noymer, Carreon & Johnson 2010.
- Starko 2010.
- Honigsbaum 2008.
- Morrissey 1986.
- Benedict & Braithwaite 2000, p. 38.
- Crosby 2003, pp. 320–322.
- Garrett 2007.
- Lindley, Robin, The Forgotten American Pandemic: Historian Dr. Nancy K. Bristow on the Influenza Epidemic of 1918
- Davis 2013, pp. 103-136.
- Spanish Influenza in North America, 1918–1919 Harvard Open Collections
- Sometimes a virus contains both avian-adapted genes and human-adapted genes. Both the H2N2 and H3N2 pandemic strains contained avian flu virus RNA segments. "While the pandemic human influenza viruses of 1957 (H2N2) and 1968 (H3N2) clearly arose through reassortment between human and avian viruses, the influenza virus causing the 'Spanish flu' in 1918 appears to be entirely derived from an avian source (Belshe 2005)." (from Chapter Two: Avian Influenza by Timm C. Harder and Ortrud Werner, an excellent free on-line book called Influenza Report 2006 which is a medical textbook that provides a comprehensive overview of epidemic and pandemic influenza.)
- Taubenberger et al. 2005.
- Antonovics, Hood & Baker 2006.
- Vana & Westover 2008.
- dos Reis, Hay & Goldstein 2009.
- Center for Disease Control: Researchers Reconstruct 1918 Pandemic Influenza Virus; Effort Designed to Advance Preparedness Retrieved on 2 September 2009
- Kobasa & et al. 2007.
- USA Today: Research on monkeys finds resurrected 1918 flu killed by turning the body against itself Retrieved on 14 August 2008.
- BBC News: Body exhumed in fight against flu Retrieved on 16 September 2008.
- BBC Four documentary. In Search of Spanish Flu
- Fox 2008.
- Fox 2010.
- Crosby 1976, p. 295.
- Madhav 2013.
Albertan farmers wore masks to protect themselves from the flu.
A street car conductor in Seattle in 1918 refusing to allow passengers aboard who are not wearing masks
Red Cross workers remove a flu victim in St. Louis, Missouri (1918)
Influenza ward at Walter Reed Hospital during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918–1919
Burying flu victims, North River, Canada (1918)
In the play 1918 by Horton Foote, the presence and threat of the flu (and the tragedy it ultimately causes) is a major element of the plot. The 1979 play was made into a film (1918 flu pandemic at the Internet Movie Database), released in 1985, which was subsequently edited for broadcast by PBS as the last part of the miniseries "The Story of A Marriage".
Twentieth-century fiction includes at least three novels with the flu pandemic as a major theme: Katherine Anne Porter's Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Thomas Mullen's The Last Town on Earth, and Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel.
In season four of British drama Upstairs, Downstairs, Hazel Bellamy dies of Spanish flu in 1918, after her husband James Bellamy survives injuries in the "Great War" (World War I). Her funeral takes place on 11 November, the day the war ends.
The television show Resurrection uses the pandemic, in the episode "Afflictions" that aired on November 2, 2014, as the explanation for why many of the Returned were getting sick and disappearing.
In popular culture
In 2013, AIR's Research and Modeling Group "characterizes the historic 1918 pandemic and estimates the effects of a similar pandemic occurring today using the AIR Pandemic Flu Model". In the model, "a modern day "Spanish flu" event would result in additional life insurance losses of between USD 15.3–27.8 billion in the United States alone" with 188,000–337,000 deaths in the United States.
One of the few things known for certain about the influenza in 1918 and for some years after was that it was, out of the laboratory, exclusively a disease of human beings.
In June 2010, a team at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine reported the 2009 flu pandemic vaccine provided some cross-protection against the 1918 flu pandemic strain.
In December 2008, research by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin linked the presence of three specific genes (termed PA, PB1, and PB2) and a nucleoprotein derived from 1918 flu samples to the ability of the flu virus to invade the lungs and cause pneumonia. The combination triggered similar symptoms in animal testing.
On 16 September 2008, the body of British politician and diplomat Sir Mark Sykes was exhumed to study the RNA of the flu virus in efforts to understand the genetic structure of modern H5N1 bird flu. Sykes had been buried in 1919 in a lead coffin which scientists hoped to have helped preserve the virus. However, the coffin was found to be split because of the weight of soil over it, and the cadaver was badly decomposed. Nonetheless, samples of lung and brain tissue were taken through the split, with the coffin remaining in situ in the grave during this process.
On 18 January 2007, Kobasa & et al. (2007) reported that monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) infected with the recreated strain exhibited classic symptoms of the 1918 pandemic, and died from a cytokine storm—an overreaction of the immune system. This may explain why the 1918 flu had its surprising effect on younger, healthier people, as a person with a stronger immune system would potentially have a stronger overreaction.
An effort to recreate the 1918 flu strain (a subtype of avian strain H1N1) was a collaboration among the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. The effort resulted in the announcement (on 5 October 2005) that the group had successfully determined the virus's genetic sequence, using historic tissue samples recovered by pathologist Johan Hultin from a female flu victim buried in the Alaskan permafrost and samples preserved from American soldiers.
Others have disagreed, and more recent research has suggested the strain may have originated in a nonhuman, mammalian species. An estimated date for its appearance in mammalian hosts has been put at the period 1882–1913. This ancestor virus diverged about 1913–1915 into two clades (or biological groups), which gave rise to the classical swine and human H1N1 influenza lineages. The last common ancestor of human strains dates to between February 1917 and April 1918. Because pigs are more readily infected with avian influenza viruses than are humans, they were suggested as the original recipients of the virus, passing the virus to humans sometime between 1913 and 1918.
The origin of the Spanish flu pandemic, and the relationship between the near-simultaneous outbreaks in humans and swine, have been controversial. One hypothesis is that the virus strain originated at Fort Riley, Kansas, in viruses in poultry and swine which the fort bred for food; the soldiers were then sent from Fort Riley around the world, where they spread the disease. Similarities between a reconstruction of the virus and avian viruses, combined with the human pandemic preceding the first reports of influenza in swine, led researchers to conclude the influenza virus jumped directly from birds to humans, and swine caught the disease from humans.
Spanish flu research