Spanish flu killed 5 times more than WWI and the Black Plague put together
Not a fun fact but perhaps surprising. In 1918 an epidemic called ‘Spanish Flu’ killed about 50 million people or 3% of the global population. It claimed more lives than the First World War (8.5 million) or the Black Plague (20 million).
Bonus fact: Why was it called Spanish flu?
The global pandemic became known in Europe and USA as Spanish flu or ‘Spanish Lady’. Many think that it’s because it originated from Spain but in fact this was not the case.
People thought that it originated from Spain because that is where they first heard about it in the press. During the First World War other countries censored the press to avoid negative moral-sapping stories about the pandemic, whereas Spain being neutral was free to report the disease in all its gory details.
The Spanish themselves believed that the pandemic came from France and called it the ‘French Flu.’