Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Basic Biomedical Science

First Advisor

Dr. Victor Huber

Second Advisor

Dr. Scott Breuninger

Third Advisor

Beate Wone


1918, Spanish Flu, Pandemic, Influenza, Poverty, Public Health


The 1918 Influenza Pandemic moved around the world in three waves, infecting up to 500 million people and causing over 40 million deaths. In areas that ended the pandemic with lower mortality rates than average, several things tended to be present. These include low rates of poverty, widespread access to healthcare, well-funded and widespread public health measures, and well-managed record keeping. Areas that ended the pandemic with high rates of mortality tended to lack the above – they had high rates of poverty, access to healthcare was limited, public health measures were unfunded or ineffective, and recordkeeping and communication were unreliable or unclear. It is important to learn from the success and mistakes of nations passed so that we as a planet are better prepared for any pandemics that should arise in the future. Being prepared involves high vaccination rates, fighting drug resistant pathogens, and acting working to lower global poverty.



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