COVID-19 deaths have surpassed the deaths of the 1918 flu pandemic

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 5:07 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - More than 675,000 people in the US have died from COVID, surpassing the number of deaths from the Spanish Flu pandemic a little more than a hundred years ago.

The 1918 influenza pandemic is accepted as the deadliest pandemic of the 20th century, killing 675,000 people.

Doctor Shankar Kurra, vice president of medical affairs at Monument Health, says he isn’t surprised by the numbers.

But he says the raw numbers are only part of the story.

The death rate for COVID actually falls short of the 1918 pandemic because of the population growth the United States experienced in the past 103 years.

Another major difference between the 1918 pandemic and the one we are currently in?

We have a vaccine.

“If you compare it to today’s population, the 1918 pandemic was 10 times worse in its death toll. The reason we’re not that bad is because of the vaccine. The vaccine is designed mainly to prevent critical illness and death,” said Dr. Shankar Kurra, vice president of medical affairs at Monument Health.

He reminds people that pandemics typically continue for 2 to 5 years and the only way to shorten the span of the COVID pandemic is to get vaccinated.

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