COVID-19 is now the deadliest disease in American history, surpassing the death toll of the devastating 1918 flu pandemic. More than 676,000 people in the United States have lost their lives to the disease in the last year and a half since the World Health Organization first declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
For more than a century, the influenza outbreak of 1918 held that grim distinction. Over three distinct waves, the virus infected more than a quarter of the U.S. population and caused average life expectancy to drop by 12 years. Here’s a look at the catastrophic damage that it caused as it spread swiftly across the