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The 1918 influenza pandemic has fascinated scholars ever since it swept around the world in three waves in the spring and fall of 1918, and the winter of 1919. Although the origins of the epidemic are still debated, it spread in conjunction with troop movements associated with World War I and along trade routes. No matter where it struck, large numbers of people fell ill. The pandemic may have killed anywhere from 50 to 100 million people (Johnson and Mueller 2002), but there are no reliable estimates of its devastation, not only in terms of human life, but also in terms of social disruption, the fracturing of families, and the loss of friends.

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