US Covid-19 deaths have surpassed 675,000, the estimated US fatalities from the 1918 influenza pandemic. As of Monday evening, 675,446 Americans were killed due to Covid-19, according to the tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The total Covid-19 cases in the country were over 42 million and the fatalities are still expected to rise as the country is currently experiencing another wave of new infections, fueled by the fast-spreading Delta variant.
Cases are more than the 1918 flu pandemic
"The number of reported deaths from Covid in the US will surpass the toll of the 1918 flu pandemic this month. We cannot become hardened to the continuing, and largely preventable, tragedy," tweeted Tom Frieden, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on September 13.
The 1918 flu killed an estimated 675,000 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was considered America's most lethal pandemic in recent history up until now.
The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic, caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin similar to Covid-19 virus. Though the origin of the 1918 flu is not confirmed, it was first identified in US military personnel in spring 1918.
It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world's population became infected with this virus, while the number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide, about 675,000 in the US alone. The mortality rate was much higher in healthy people, including those in the 20-40 year age group, a unique feature of this pandemic.
With no vaccine to protect against influenza infection and no antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections, medical intervention was limited to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as isolation, quarantine, good personal hygiene, use of disinfectants, and limitations of public gatherings, which were applied unevenly.