The “Spanish flu pandemic” of 1918 was the deadliest in history.
It infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims. This included some 675,000 Americans.
Below is the original advice given by the Surgeon General in 1918.
It sounds somewhat like the current advice:
“It is especially important to beware of the person who coughs or sneezes without covering his mouth and nose. It also follows that one should keep out of crowds and stuffy places as much as possible, keep homes, offices and workshops well aired, spend some time out of doors each day, walk to work if at all practicable – in short make every possible effort to breathe as much pure air as possible.
‘Cover up each cough and sneeze, if you don’t you’ll spread disease.'”