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The Spanish flu: the biggest pandemic in modern history (Teaser)

October 11, 2019


At the end of the First World War, Europe
suffered the worst global pandemic in history. With a mortality rate between 10% and 20%,
the influenza virus resulted in the deaths of 50 to 100 million people worldwide. The epidemic went by many names, including
the “three-day fever”, “the soldier of Naples”, or “the catchy disease”. It passed from France
to Great Britain, Italy, and arrived in Spain, making King Alfonso XIII sick. Elixirs, herbal waters, tonics, and other
balms claimed to cure the disease. All the newspapers of the time carried advertisements
for miraculous remedies. A quick read of the different medical journals
of the time, available in the Hispanic Digital Library, will show us the causes and consequences
of this devastating epidemic. The Spanish flu: the largest pandemic in modern
history.

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