According to data released on Monday by Johns Hopkins University, COVID-19 has now killed more Americans than the Spanish flu, which is the benchmark in this case. However, from our side of the Atlantic, the situation is different.
Covid-19: the worst pandemic in US history
According to the institute’s latest report, which took place late Monday afternoon, more than 675,700 people infected with the coronavirus have died in the United States. However, according to historians and the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the main health authority in the United States, the Spanish flu has killed at least 50 million people worldwide, including 675,000 in the United States.
Therefore, the Spanish flu, at least in absolute numbers, on Monday lost the title of the most serious pandemic in modern US history. But, unlike Covid-19, this pandemic was particularly deadly in age groups that are considered healthy, including people under 5 and people between the ages of 20 and 40.
We have an unbeatable record
In Belgium, the results of the Spanish flu are difficult to establish. Estimates depend on the study. La Libre, however, cites 300,000 deaths, although this should be seen as a sign. The fact remains that this allows us to claim that Covid-19 has done less harm than the Spanish flu, as almost 25,500 people have died from coronavirus in Belgium since the onset of the health crisis. The excessive mortality rate has never been higher than in World War II, but it does not exceed the known flu rate.
In France, the results are similar. The LCI estimates that between 210,000 and 408,000 people have died from the Spanish flu in France. For the Covid-19, the meter is currently installed at 116,000 people.
It should be noted, however, that the context between the two epidemics is very different. In 1918, Europe was coming out of a devastating war, and obviously it was not about deterrence, as it was with Covid-19. According to researchers from the School of Advanced Research in Public Health (EHESP) in 2020, the first imprisonment “prevented 61,739 deaths in hospitals” in France. And this without taking into account the next waves of coronavirus. Without health measures, France would probably have caught up with the Spanish flu. Medicine has also made many strides. Life expectancy at the time of the Spanish flu was thirty years lower than today.