US COVID-19 Deaths Surpass Deaths Caused by 1918 Spanish Flu

In Summary

Modern medical advances haven’t prevented the U.S. from experiencing more death caused by COVID-19 than the 1918 Spanish Flu, baffling experts.  

COVID-19 has killed more Americans than the 1918 Spanish Flu, despite scientific and medical improvements in the last 100 years.   

According to John Hopkins University, over 675,000 people have died in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic.   

“If you would have talked to me in 2019, I would have said I’d be surprised,” epidemiologist Stephen Kissler of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health told CNN. “But if you talked to me in probably April or May 2020, I would say I would not be surprised we’d hit this point.”  

The 1918 Spanish flu killed at least 50 million people globally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It lasted two years.   

According to health experts, COVID-19 deaths may be undercounted because states are excluding excess deaths, ABC News reported.   

The fatality rate for COVID-19 is lower than that of the Spanish Flu pandemic, sitting at 1.6% compared to the 2.5% for the 1918 influenza.  

“The difference is that 1 in 500 Americans have died now, and about 1 in 152 died in 1918, although our number keeps going up,” Christopher McKnight Nichols, associate professor of history at Oregon State University, told ABC.   

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