It’s been 100 years since one of the deadliest diseases... well, ever. The 1918-1919 flu pandemic (usually and mistakenly called the “Spanish Flu”) infected roughly a third of the world’s population and killed somewhere on the order of 50-100 million people, leaving no corner of the world untouched. It came just as the world was beginning its recovery from the other global catastrophe of the time — the First World War. The pandemic is sometimes referred to as the “Forgotten Plague” because the extent of the devastation wasn’t realized at the time, and it’s been missing from most history books since.
This week on On the Media, we look back at what happened and ask: could it, would it happen again?
This hour of On the Media is part of “Germ City,” a series produced by the WNYC newsroom in collaboration with the Museum of the City of New York and The New York Academy of Medicine.