Deaths by Spanish Flu (1918) and COVID-19 (2020) in Brazil

ElyaDatabase ID Number: M103

Creator: Jade Seguchi ’22 International Relations & Business

The deadly H1N1 influenza virus reached Brazil when in its second wave, in September 1918. The lack of response, the spread of misleading information and manipulation of statistics only worsened its impact in the country, resulting in over 35,000 deaths. Remarkably, the current Covid-19 pandemic has presented similar reactions and demeanors. The underestimation of the disease, as well as fake news, have been central issues – with President Jair Bolsonaro as the main figure behind them. The President of the Republic has regarded the virus as a “little flu”, neglected the lamentably high number of deaths saying that “we are all going to die one day”, and made various more deplorable statements. The pandemic has taken over 170,000 Brazilian lives and the number keeps increasing. When comparing both death tolls, it is possible to notice the similarity in the most affected states; São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Ceará were the most hurt by the virus in their respective times. Taking into consideration the different population sizes in 1918 and 2020 (then approximately 1/7th of today’s population) and the similar path the Brazilian government is following amidst the pandemic, Covid-19 could reach a further aggravating fatality rate.

Cite This Work :

Jade Seguchi, “Deaths by Spanish Flu (1918) and COVID-19 (2020) in Brazil.” Scale: 1:70,000. In Elya J. Zhang, ed., Mapping History Series. <> (accessed May 27, 2022).

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