1918 pandemic

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The 1918 pandemic influenza, colloquially (but inaccurately) known as "The Spanish flu", was an H1N1 virus which killed approximately 50 million peopel worldwide and about 675,000 in the United States.

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This pandemic could be just as accurately termed "The Kansas flu" because one of the places it was first identified was Camp Funston, Kansas; the outbreak source, however, is not known. The "Spanish" nomenclature only came about because reporting in the US and other countries involved in World War I was largely suppressed in order to aid the war effort, while Spain was neutral and its newspapers were therefore free to report on the pandemic. (This is a reasonably good example of blaming the messenger.)