Difference between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu

Apr 22

With the recent widespread outbreak of Coronavirus worldwide, it has instigated some comparisons to Spanish Flu across all social platforms. Although the casualties caused by the Great War overshadowed the rampage which the Spanish Flu outbreak created, it is estimated that the toll reached at least 30 million people across the world.

After the Coronavirus emerged as a pandemic after its outbreak in Wuhan, there have been many comparisons between these two diseases and its impact. However, are these two epidemics similar? In this article, we will try to compare coronavirus vs spanish flu, and how both pandemics can be compared.

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A bit about Coronavirus and Spanish Flu

Before we proceed with the comparison of coronavirus vs spanish flu, let us know about the specific diseases a bit more.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a mutated form of Coronavirus, popularly known as Novel Coronavirus.  The symptoms mainly constitute mild to moderate respiratory problems, with no requirement of any particular treatment for healthy individuals. However, for patients who have a case of a heart ailment, respiratory disorder, diabetes, and cancer- Coronavirus might pose a threat.

Spanish Flu (La Gripe Espanola or La Pesadilla), on the other hand, was an unusual yet fatal influenza-based pandemic. The symptoms were mostly influenza-centric, but there was an unusually high mortality rate among young adults as compared to the old and the young population. Moreover, the onset of World War I aggravated the spread of Spanish Flu- leading to more deaths. It is still considered to be one of the deadliest pandemics in human history.

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The primary difference between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu

There are two fundamental differences when coronavirus vs spanish flu is compared.

 Coronavirus causes mild to moderate respiratory problems, while Spanish Flu had more severe and fatal symptoms like severe influenza, pneumonia, and pleurisy.

Another prime difference is the impact. With the tremendous advancement in the field of medical science and technology, we are now closer to creating a vaccine as well as finding a cure to Coronavirus. This was not possible for Spanish Flu, and the hospitals that treated patients with Spanish Flu had to resort to primitive methods. It was not until 1948 that WHO, post its formation, focusing on the eradication of Spanish Flu or its derivatives.

The Hope

Now that we compared coronavirus vs spanish flu, we should not spark more fear within ourselves and the others because there is hope. Spanish Flu inflicted more damage due to its outbreak during the First World War and the absence of any development in the field of epidemiology. On the other hand, we are just a few steps closer to solving this Coronavirus riddle and eradicate it once and for all- thanks to the advances in the medical field as well as a heightened sense of awareness among the people.


We all know the proverb “Prevention is better than Cure.” In the light of the recent pandemic, which is causing a considerable upheaval worldwide, implementing this proverb onto real life is now all the more essential. I hope you liked this article on the difference between Coronavirus and Spanish Flu. Stay safe; stay indoors.

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