In 1918, the world rejoiced at the end of World War One. Unfortunately, a far more sinister form of death was beginning to take lives: Spanish Influenza. In two short years, the virus killed between fifty million and one hundred million people. It is said that the Spanish Flu killed more in twenty-five weeks than AIDS has in twenty-five years—and more in a single year than the Bubonic Plague killed in a century. The outbreak gave modern scientists the first true close look at an epidemic, paving the way for great advances in medicine.
Furthermore, the massive influx of patients led to a boom in the medical field, increasing the pay for doctors and encouraging many to enter the profession, a trend that continues to this day. For better or for worse, the Spanish Flu introduced the idea of “medicine for profit” to the world.