Did you know the flu pandemic of 1918 in the United States contributed to the birth and growth of the chiropractic profession? We tell this story to most of our patients and they just don’t believe it. But it’s true, and here’s why. But first off, we’ll start with a bit of context, as you may have never heard about this terrible and traumatic piece of history.
A Deadly Time To Be Alive
The flu pandemic of 1918 produced the deadliest infection in modern history, having spread on over an estimated 500 million people throughout the world. The pandemic infected almost one-third of the world’s population killing between 20 and 50 million people. More than 25 percent of the U.S. population became sick, and over half a million Americans died during the pandemic.
No effective drugs or vaccines existed at the time of the pandemic. Humanity had no real treatments or means of preventing the strain from spreading. American citizens were ordered to wear sterile masks while schools and other places of mass gathering were shut down. But not everyone was succumbing to the virus. Here’s where chiropractic care started to gain popularity and relevance at this particular point in history.