August 27 - 1918: Worse-ever flu epidemic begins here

Over 675,000 Americans die, over 50 million die worldwide

1918: Worse ever flu epidemic begins in Boston

Over 675,000 Americans die, over 50 million die worldwide

From Mass Moments:

On this day in 1918, two sailors housed at Boston's Commonwealth Pier reported to sickbay. The men were the first Americans stricken with a strain of influenza that would prove far more dangerous than the German army. By the end of the week, 100 new cases a day were being reported among the sailors at the pier.

The disease spread with terrifying speed through both the military and civilian populations. In the next 24 weeks, the epidemic would affect more than 25,000,000 Americans. More than 675,000 Americans would not survive the illness. The flu would take far more lives than the war then raging in Europe. Worldwide, between 50,000,000 and 100,000,000 people would die before the epidemic abated in December.

Learn more about the Great Pandemic here. Read specifically about Massachusetts here.

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