PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — More South Dakotans have died from the coronavirus than of the Spanish Flu, according to the South Dakota Historical Society.
The Spanish flu killed 1,847 people in South Dakota as of the end 1918. COVID-19 has killed 1,853 people as of Friday, Feb. 19, according to the South Dakota Department of Health.
South Dakota’s first COVID-19 death was reported on March 10. State officials also reported four other confirmed cases on that day.
The first case of Spanish Flu in the U.S. was reported in soldiers in the spring of 1918, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The Spanish Flu came in three waves with the first in the spring of 1918, the second in the fall of 1918 and third in the winter of 1918, according to the CDC.
Most South Dakotans were killed in the final three months of 1918, according to Matthew T. Reitzel, who compiled the data and history brief published by the South Dakota Historical Society.
The flu deaths in South Dakota didn’t end in 1918. The state had 700 more in 1919 and 551 in 1920.
The Spanish Flu killed an estimated 675,00 people in the U.S. and 50 million people worldwide, according to the CDC.
Minnehaha has had the most COVID-19 deaths as of Feb. 19 with 327 followed by Pennington County with 185. Those are the two most populated counties in South Dakota.
The state of South Dakota’s history department said Lawrence County has the most Spanish Flu deaths in 1918 with 145 followed by Brown County with 118.