The 1918 Fort Riley/Kansas/USA Global Flu Pandemic

Global pandemics

Russian Flu 1889/90 – 1 million dead

Asian Flu 1957/58 – from 1.5 to 4 million dead

Hong Kong flu 1968/69 – from 1 to 4 million dead

The Fort Riley/Kansas/ USA FLU of 1918

(Or even The GITCHELL FLU – after Private Albert Gitchell of the US Army)

(Wrongly called ‘Spanish Flu’ because Spain was neutral in The Great War and was thus the only country reporting honestly about the effect of the pandemic – how ironic!)

World population at the time was 1.8 billion

500 million infected

If we take the lowest estimate as accurate – 17.5 million deaths – then just under 1% of the global population died. This flu had little effect on the older population – probably because they had built up immunity during and after the Russian Flu.

Some, however, estimate that 25 million died, others 35 to 50 million

The epicentre: USA

In March 1918 Albert infected 100 fellow soldiers, as did many unknown soldiers who had caught it, in other army camps (just imagine the chronic crowded conditions) around the States. Thousands of these soldiers (the same applied to soldiers in Europe) were already suffering from the ‘usual influenza.’ It was these soldiers – first batch 84,000, second 118,000 – who carried the  deadly virus to the battlefields of France and then the rest of Europe. By June there were 31,000 reported cases in the UK alone.

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