1918 Pandemic! - The Spanish Flu Attacks Soldiers


1917 - In the midst of the horror of World War I, a new disease with high mortality begins to attack soldiers on all sides of the battlefront. Malnourishment, combat stress and unsanitary living conditions create the ideal breeding ground for infection; while ongoing troop movements see to its rapid transmission around the globe. Wartime censors minimize early reports of the illness to calm the public and preserve troop morale, but their coverage of its effects in neutral Spain give rise to its moniker; the Spanish Flu. The first wave of the pandemic affects mostly the sick and elderly, offering immunity to the few that survive. Five months later, a rapid mutation triggers the second wave to spread among the masses, laying waste to the stronger immune systems of young adults. 500 million people will be infected worldwide. 50 million will lose their life. The origin of the pandemic will never be known for certain, but experts have identified the cause; the H1N1 virus.

World War I Military History

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