The Influenza Pandemic of 1918
The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 was one of the deadliest pandemics in recorded history, killing over 20 million people worldwide. The pandemic had four waves, the second of which, in the fall of 1918, was the deadliest. It is estimated that in the 10 months between September 1918 and June 1919, 550,000 Americans died from the flu. In comparison, 116,000 Americans died during the war.
The disease was commonly called the Spanish Flu. Wartime censors limited early information about the diesease in Allied countries, but were free to report on it in neutral Spain. This led to the false belief that the flu had originated in Spain and the name stuck.
The flu disrupted life at the Colleges in October 1918, but it was not the first disease they had dealt with during the First World War.