• Alysa Salzberg

What ever happened to the Spanish flu?

Over the past months, countless scientists, historians, and laypersons alike have compared the current COVID-19 pandemic to the 1918-1920 outbreak of the Spanish flu. There are some staggering familiarities, right down to debates over wearing masks. But one thing we don’t hear as much about is why the Spanish flu is no longer here today.


How did the Spanish flu end? A recent article explains that humans eventually obtained a herd immunity to it. The disease has since evolved and strains of it have been found in later iterations of the flu, however.


This is a hopeful sign for all of us today. Although a vaccine is the best solution for the COVID-19 pandemic, if that never comes to be, or takes longer than everyone is hoping, at least we know that coronavirus could essentially die out. Hopefully, this will happen sooner rather than later, and its death toll will remain well below the Spanish flu’s staggering 50 million.


Read on to learn more about the likely origin of the Spanish flu (turns out it wasn’t Spain), how it affected people around the world, and how its effect diminished over time.



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