Covid is officially America's deadliest pandemic as U.S. fatalities surpass 1918 flu estimates

A woman and child walk through a field of white flags on the Mall near the Washington Monument in Washington, DC on September 16, 2021.Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Covid-19 is officially the most deadly outbreak in recent American history, surpassing the estimated U.S. fatalities from the 1918 influenza pandemic, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Reported U.S. deaths due to Covid crossed 675,000 on Monday, and are rising at an average of more than 1,900 fatalities per day, Johns Hopkins data shows. The nation is currently experiencing yet another wave of new infections, fueled by the fast-spreading delta variant.

The 1918 flu – which came in three waves, occurring in the spring of 1918, the fall of 1918; and the winter and spring of 1919 – killed an estimated 675,000 Americans, according to the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention. It was considered America's most lethal pandemic in recent history up until now.

“I think we are now pretty well done with historical comparisons,” said Dr. Howard Markel, a physician and medical historian at the University of Michigan. He added it is time to stop looking back to 1918 as a guide for how to act in the present and to start thinking forward from 2021.

A personal note is seen on a white flag at the 'In America: Remember' public art installation near the Washington Monument on September 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.Robert Nickelsberg | Getty Images

“This is the pandemic I will be studying and teaching to the next generation of doctors and public-health students,” he said.

To be sure, a direct side-by-side comparison of raw numbers for each pandemic doesn't provide all of the contexts, considering the vast technological, medical, social and cultural advances over the past century, Markel and other health experts say.

CNBC Health & Science

Read CNBC's latest global coverage of the Covid pandemic:

It's important to consider population when talking about outbreaks or disasters, health experts and statisticians say.

In 1918, for example, the U.S. population was less than a third of today's with an estimated 103 million people living in America just before the roaring 1920s. Today, there are nearly 330 million people living in the U.S. That means the 1918 flu killed about 1 in every 150 Americans, compared with 1 in 500 who have died from Covid so far.

The 1918 virus also tended to kill differently than Covid, experts say. With World War I, there was a massive movement of men across all of America and Europe. While the coronavirus can be especially severe for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, the 1918 virus was unusual in that it killed many young adults.

Globally, the 1918 flu killed more people, an estimated 20 million to 50 million, according to the World Health Organization. Covid has taken the lives of approximately 4.7 million people worldwide so far, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Members of the Red Cross Motor Corps, all wearing masks against the further spread of the influenza epidemic, carry a patient on a stretcher into their ambulance, Saint Louis, Missouri, October 1918.PhotoQuest | Getty Images

Unlike today, there was no vaccine for the 1918 flu. There was also no CDC or national public health department. The Food and Drug Administration existed but consisted of a very small group of people. Additionally, there were no antibiotics, intensive care units, ventilators or IV fluids.

Scientists hadn't even seen a virus under a microscope. They didn't have the technology and they knew almost nothing of virology, which was considered a nascent science because viruses are physically smaller under a microscope and more difficult to identify than bacterial infections.

“Obviously, we have much better advantages now, 100 years later,” Dr. Paul Offit, who advises the FDA on Covid vaccines, said, adding he is “frustrated.”

The U.S. is worse off now than it was a year ago as a large portion of the nation's population remains unvaccinated, he added.

“I can tell you that we see a lot of children hospitalized as well, who have high-risk conditions and the problem is not that they didn't get their third dose. The problem is that they are unvaccinated,” said Offit, also director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Markel agreed that the U.S. has made advancements, saying, “the reality is we have no historical precedent for the moment we're in now.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Buy Ambuja Cement; target of Rs 445: Prabhudas Lilladher

Prabhudas Lilladher’s research report on Ambuja Cement Ambuja Cement (ACEM) reported Q3CY21 EBITDA with 5%/3% miss on our/consensus estimates (CE). Miss was on account of higher than expected raw material ... Read more »

Buy Bajaj Finance; target of Rs 9092: Prabhudas Lilladher

Prabhudas Lilladher’s research report on Bajaj Finance While BAF’s Q2FY22 earnings (PAT at Rs14.8bn vs PLe: Rs15.4bn) missed our estimates on account of elevated collections costs and employee hiring, yet ... Read more »

L&T's construction arm bags 'large' order from CPWD

Engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) on Thursday said its construction arm has bagged a ’large’ order for its buildings and factories business from the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). ... Read more »

Beyondlife.club launches drop wallet for Amitabh Bachchan NFT collection

[Image: Shutterstock] Megastar Amitabh Bachchan recently announced the launch of his limited edition non-fungible token (NFT) collection on NFT exchange platform Beyondlife.club and the platform now has developed a wallet to carry out all the ... Read more »

Starbucks Korea will launch free job training programs for youths

Photo by: BBIDDAC/Unsplash Starbucks Korea will be offering free training to youths who would like to work as baristas. The company is starting a program for the youth next year, ... Read more »

Lupin Consolidated September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 4,091.33 crore, up 6.68% Y-o-Y

Reported Consolidated quarterly numbers for Lupin are: Net Sales at Rs 4,091.33 crore in September 2021 up 6.68% from Rs. 3,835.00 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Loss at Rs. ... Read more »

Amarjothi Spin Consolidated September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 76.30 crore, up 61.77% Y-o-Y

Reported Consolidated quarterly numbers for Amarjothi Spinning Mills are: Net Sales at Rs 76.30 crore in September 2021 up 61.77% from Rs. 47.16 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit ... Read more »

PSP Projects Consolidated September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 390.44 crore, up 60.62% Y-o-Y

Reported Consolidated quarterly numbers for PSP Projects are: Net Sales at Rs 390.44 crore in September 2021 up 60.62% from Rs. 243.09 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit at ... Read more »

United Brewerie Consolidated September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 1,427.01 crore, up 58.57% Y-o-Y

Reported Consolidated quarterly numbers for United Breweries are: Net Sales at Rs 1,427.01 crore in September 2021 up 58.57% from Rs. 899.90 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit at ... Read more »

Kopran Consolidated September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 127.57 crore, up 7.2% Y-o-Y

Reported Consolidated quarterly numbers for Kopran are: Net Sales at Rs 127.57 crore in September 2021 up 7.2% from Rs. 118.99 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit at Rs. ... Read more »

Tata Chemicals Consolidated September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 3,022.63 crore, up 15.84% Y-o-Y

Reported Consolidated quarterly numbers for Tata Chemicals are: Net Sales at Rs 3,022.63 crore in September 2021 up 15.84% from Rs. 2,609.35 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit at ... Read more »

PNB Consolidated September 2021 Net Interest Income (NII) at Rs 6,549.61 crore, down 23.48% Y-o-Y

Reported Consolidated quarterly numbers for Punjab National Bank are: Net Interest Income (NII) at Rs 6,549.61 crore in September 2021 down 23.48% from Rs. 8558.98 crore in September 2020. Quarterly ... Read more »

CEOs urge world leaders to 'Do More Together' in race to net-zero emissions

Representative image (Source: Shutterstock) A group of nearly 100 CEOs from across the world, including from India, on Thursday urged governments to take decisive action at the upcoming COP26 Summit ... Read more »

Dalmia Bharat Consolidated September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 2,577.00 crore, up 6.93% Y-o-Y

Reported Consolidated quarterly numbers for Dalmia Bharat are: Net Sales at Rs 2,577.00 crore in September 2021 up 6.93% from Rs. 2,410.00 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit at ... Read more »

Oracle Fin Serv Consolidated September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 1,280.97 crore, up 6.98% Y-o-Y

Reported Consolidated quarterly numbers for Oracle Financial Services Software are: Net Sales at Rs 1,280.97 crore in September 2021 up 6.98% from Rs. 1,197.39 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net ... Read more »

KPR Mill Consolidated September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 1,211.34 crore, up 28.6% Y-o-Y

Reported Consolidated quarterly numbers for KPR Mill are: Net Sales at Rs 1,211.34 crore in September 2021 up 28.6% from Rs. 941.92 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit at ... Read more »

Cosmo Films Consolidated September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 759.37 crore, up 35.66% Y-o-Y

Reported Consolidated quarterly numbers for Cosmo Films are: Net Sales at Rs 759.37 crore in September 2021 up 35.66% from Rs. 559.78 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit at ... Read more »

SIS Consolidated September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 2,430.93 crore, up 12.65% Y-o-Y

Reported Consolidated quarterly numbers for SIS are: Net Sales at Rs 2,430.93 crore in September 2021 up 12.65% from Rs. 2,157.86 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit at Rs. ... Read more »

Hybrid Fin Ser Consolidated September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 1.33 crore, up 42.53% Y-o-Y

Reported Consolidated quarterly numbers for Hybrid Financial Services are: Net Sales at Rs 1.33 crore in September 2021 up 42.53% from Rs. 0.93 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit ... Read more »

Eimco Elecon Consolidated September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 10.85 crore, down 67.59% Y-o-Y

Reported Consolidated quarterly numbers for Eimco Elecon (India) are: Net Sales at Rs 10.85 crore in September 2021 down 67.59% from Rs. 33.48 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit ... Read more »

PSP Projects Standalone September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 390.44 crore, up 60.62% Y-o-Y

Reported Standalone quarterly numbers for PSP Projects are: Net Sales at Rs 390.44 crore in September 2021 up 60.62% from Rs. 243.09 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit at ... Read more »

Eimco Elecon Standalone September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 10.85 crore, down 67.59% Y-o-Y

Reported Standalone quarterly numbers for Eimco Elecon (India) are: Net Sales at Rs 10.85 crore in September 2021 down 67.59% from Rs. 33.48 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit ... Read more »

Tata Chemicals Standalone September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 847.00 crore, up 18.06% Y-o-Y

Reported Standalone quarterly numbers for Tata Chemicals are: Net Sales at Rs 847.00 crore in September 2021 up 18.06% from Rs. 717.46 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit at ... Read more »

Dalmia Bharat Standalone September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 34.00 crore, down 2.86% Y-o-Y

Reported Standalone quarterly numbers for Dalmia Bharat are: Net Sales at Rs 34.00 crore in September 2021 down 2.86% from Rs. 35.00 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit at ... Read more »

Butterfly Standalone September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 403.12 crore, up 39.61% Y-o-Y

Reported Standalone quarterly numbers for Butterfly Gandhimathi Appliances are: Net Sales at Rs 403.12 crore in September 2021 up 39.61% from Rs. 288.75 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit ... Read more »

SIS Standalone September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 812.97 crore, up 13.46% Y-o-Y

Reported Standalone quarterly numbers for SIS are: Net Sales at Rs 812.97 crore in September 2021 up 13.46% from Rs. 716.52 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net Profit at Rs. ... Read more »

Oracle Fin Serv Standalone September 2021 Net Sales at Rs 956.69 crore, up 11.7% Y-o-Y

Reported Standalone quarterly numbers for Oracle Financial Services Software are: Net Sales at Rs 956.69 crore in September 2021 up 11.7% from Rs. 856.45 crore in September 2020. Quarterly Net ... Read more »

IOB Standalone September 2021 Net Interest Income (NII) at Rs 1,632.94 crore, up 4.59% Y-o-Y

Reported Standalone quarterly numbers for Indian Overseas Bank are: Net Interest Income (NII) at Rs 1,632.94 crore in September 2021 up 4.59% from Rs. 1561.3 crore in September 2020. Quarterly ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic