Historical Myths – Spanish Flu
The Myth: Spanish flu came from Spain
The Spanish flu pandemic (the same virus as Swine flu) lasted from March 1918 to June 1920, spreading even to the Arctic and remote Pacific islands. It is estimated that anywhere from 50 to 100 million people were killed worldwide, or the approximate equivalent of one third of the population of Europe.
Although the first cases of the disease were registered in the continental US and the rest of Europe long before getting to Spain, the 1918 Flu received its nickname “Spanish Flu” because Spain, a neutral country in WWI, had no special censorship for news against the disease and its consequences.
Hence the most reliable news came from Spain, giving the false impression that Spain was the most—if not the only—affected zone. So thanks to the honesty of Spain, they are now marred forever by the title of the worst flu epidemic in modern history.
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