Did you know that County Clare recorded the lowest death rate from influenza of any county in Ireland during the Great Flu or Spanish Influenza of 1918?
In 1918, Clare had a death rate of 0.46 per thousand compared to Kildare’s 3.95 per thousand. 2.7% of all deaths from influenza in Ireland were of people aged between 25 and 35.
In Ireland 20,057 people were reported as having died of influenza in 1918 and 1919 (the average annual rate for the preceding years of the war had stood at 1,179).
As the First World War was entering its final stages, a pandemic of unprecedented virulence, which we now know to be the H1N1 influenza virus, infected one billion people around the globe and may have killed approximately 100 million. It spread with remarkable speed, striking in three almost simultaneous waves in various parts of the world. It initially appeared in the late spring and summer of 1918. It then returned in full strength in the autumn and early winter of that year, and reappeared for a final deadly bout in the early months of 1919.