The influenza pandemic of 1918 claimed more than 50 million lives worldwide. About one fifth of the world’s population was affected by this deadly virus killing, within months, more people across the globe than any other illness in the previous recorded history.
Initially it emerged in the spring of 1918 as the unexpected appearance of a “three day fever” from which patients recovered within a few days. The second and deadly phase of the disease struck in the fall. It filled the lungs with watery fluid and killed the patients quickly, sometimes within hours, leaving the medical professionals absolutely clueless.