Previous studies of Spanish flu have generally discarded the idea that the pandemic originated in Spain, suggesting that it was already present in France in 1916, and that it was brought to Spain by unskilled Spanish and Portuguese laborers working in France. But these workers may well have taken the deadlier mutation of the virus back with them to France after the summer of 1918.
The Spanish-US team’s work, supported by a wealth of statistics, shows that just about every province in Spain was hit by the flu. There were three viral waves between January 1918 and June of 1919, moving from north to south, a process that can only partly be explained by socio-economic factors, says the team.So much for the infallibility of statistics. Now, if we could just get the econometricians to admit it.