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Reporting on the Spanish Influenza, 1918

The Spanish Influenza (H1N1) first appeared in the United States in March 1918. There were periodic, minor outbreaks for six months, but in September a highly fatal second wave of influenza broke out across the country and lasted through January 1919. Within days of being exposed, patients became gravely ill and many died. Influenza is usually dangerous for the very young and the elderly. During this outbreak the disease was deadly for people aged twenty to forty as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 195,000 Americans died in October 1918 alone. In less than two years, an estimated 25 million people in the United States (25% of the total population of 103 million people) became ill and 675,000 died.