Why did the Spanish flu kill so many people?

The 1918 pandemic killed as many people in one year as the Black Death claimed in a century. But it generated surprisingly few headlines at the time. The pandemic’s casualties blurred together in the public mind with those who never returned from the great European bloodbath, which perhaps explains why Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, writing best-selling novels in the years immediately following the Spanish flu pandemic, never mentioned the disease even once. Moreover, the pandemic lacked a punchy name . . .

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