Why the Second Wave of the 1918 Spanish Flu Was So Deadly

The first strain of the Spanish flu wasn’t particularly deadly. Then it came back i
n the fall with a venThe horrific scale of the 1918 influenza pandemic—known as the "Spanish flu"—is hard to fathom. The virus infected 500 million people worldwide and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims—that’s more than all of the soldiers and civilians killed during World War I combined. 
While the global pandemic lasted for two years, a significant number of deaths were packed into three especially cruel months in the fall of 1918. Historians now believe that the fatal severity of the Spanish flu’s “second wave” was caused by a mutated virus spread by wartime troop movements.geance.

Violent Anti-Semitism Spreads

Summer, 1348
A group of religious zealots known as the Flagellants first begin to appear in Germany. These groups of anywhere from 50 to 500 hooded and half-naked men march, sing and thrash themselves with lashes until swollen and bloody. Originally the practice of 11th-century Italian monks during an epidemic, they spread out through Europe. Also known for their violent anti-Semitism, the Flagellants mysteriously disappear by 1350.
The plague hits Marseille, Paris and Normandy, and then the strain splits, with one strain moving onto the now-Belgian city of Tournai to the east and the other passing through Calais. and Avignon, where 50 percent of the population dies.

The Black Death: A Timeline of the Gruesome Pandemic

One of the worst plagues in history arrived at Europe's shores in 1347. Five years later, some 25 to 50 million people were dead.
Black Death

Black Death Emerges, Spreads via the Black Sea

The strain of Y. pestis emerges in Mongolia, according to John Kelly’s account in The Great MortalityIt is possibly passed to humans by a tarabagan, a type of marmot. The deadliest outbreak is in the Mongol capital of Sarai, which the Mongols carry west to the Black Sea area.
Mongol King Janiberg and his army are in the nearby city of Tana when a brawl erupts between Italian merchants and a group of Muslims. Following the death of one of the Muslims, the Italians flee by sea to the Genoese outpost of Caffa and Janiberg follow on land. Upon arrival at Caffa, Janiberg’s army lays siege for a year but they are stricken with an outbreak. As the army catapults the infected bodies of their dead over city walls, the under-siege Genoese become infected also.
May, 1347
Both sides in the siege are decimated and survivors in Caffa escape by sea, leaving behind streets covered with corpses being fed on by feral animals. One ship arrives in Constantinople, which, once infected, loses as much as 90 percent of its population.
October, 1347
Another Caffan ship docks in Sicily, the crew barely alive. Here the plague kills half the population and moves to Messina. Fleeing residents then spread it to mainland Italy, where one-third of the population is dead by the following summer.
November, 1347
The plague arrives in France, brought by another of the Caffa ships docking in Marseille. It spreads quickly through the country.

A New Strain Enters Europe

Black Death
January, 1348
A different plague strain enters Europe through Genoa, brought by another Caffan ship that docks there. The Genoans attack the ship and drive it away, but they are still infected. Italy faces this second strain while already battling the previous one.
Y. pestis also heads east from Sicily into the Persian Empire and through Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland, and south to Egypt, as well as Cyprus, which is also hit with destruction from an earthquake and deadly tidal wave at the same time.
Venice faces its own outbreak by pioneering the first organized response, with committees ordering ship inspections and burning those with contagions, shutting down taverns, and restricting wine from unknown sources. The canals fill with gondolas shouting official instructions for disposing of dead bodies. Despite those efforts, the plague kills 60 percent of the Venetian population.
April, 1348
The plague awakes an anti-Semitic rage around Europe, causing repeated massacres of Jewish communities, with the first one taking place in Provence, where 40 Jews were murdered.
June, 1348
The plague enters England through the port of Melcombe Regis, in Dorset. As it spreads through the town, some escape by fleeing inland, inadvertently spreading it further.

Black Death Reaches London, Scotland and Beyond

Black Death: Timeline

Vikings, Crippled by Plague, Halt Exploration

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