US COVID-19 Death Toll Surpasses Estimated Deaths From 1918 Spanish Flu

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The death toll of COVID-19 has surpassed that of the 1918 Spanish flu to become the pandemic with the highest death total in the history of the U.S.

COVID-19 deaths surpassed 676,000 Monday, according to STAT’s Covid-19 Tracker. The number of deaths is higher than the estimated 675,000 Americans that died during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Spanish flu lasted slightly longer than two years and up until COVID-19, was the pandemic that caused the most loss of life in the history of the U.S. (RELATED: Unvaccinated 11 Times More Likely To Die From COVID-19, New CDC Study Says)

However, the current population of the U.S. is three times larger than what it was during the Spanish flu pandemic, meaning the Spanish flu killed a larger percentage of the population than COVID-19.

The diseases also differ in their average age of fatality and case-fatality rates.

The average age of fatality during the Spanish flu was 28-year-old, while COVID-19 fatalities primarily occur in the elderly.

Moreover, the two pandemics differed in case-fatality rates. The rate for COVID-19 in the U.S. is 1.6%, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine. The Spanish flu case-fatality rate was higher, with a rate exceeding 2.5%.

As of Sept. 20, 2021, the U.S. had fourth highest total of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.