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Thursday, March 4th. While the COVID-19 pandemic took hold here about one year ago, a much more devastating public health crisis in America and world history emerged on this date 102 years earlier.

The first cases of what was called “Spanish flu” were reported in 1918 among soldiers at Fort Riley, Kansas. Then it went viral in the worst sense of the word.

By 1920, nearly one-in-four Americans had suffered from this strain of the flu, killing about 675,000. Worldwide, estimates put the death toll at 50 million or more. Even less dramatic strains of flu, like the COVID virus, can be deadly.

Confronting such health issues today are 12,000 medical laboratories nationwide, along with 122,000 medical scientists and over 12,000 biomedical engineers.

You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at

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