Talk:Spanish flu/Archive 3

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Requested move 15 March 2020

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: not moved. While "1918 influenza pandemic" and similar titles may be more precise or consistent, there is rough consensus that the recognizability of "Spanish flu" makes it a better article title per WP:COMMONNAME. Thank you everyone who participated. Wug·a·po·des 22:48, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

Spanish flu1918 influenza pandemic – Per Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(events)#Health_incidents_and_outbreaks, the guideline says we need to have where and when it happened. This title was listed in the guideline as 1918 influenza pandemic, but I removed it for now to get a consensus on whether there should a move. Interstellarity (talk) 13:17, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

  • Support move. I guess the main argument to keep would be WP:COMMONNAME. And while it's hardly an exhaustive survey, I feel like the proposed name comes up much more commonly, and certainly feels like a more formal, official title as well. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 14:03, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
    To clarify just a little, I think even COMMONNAME favors the move. At worst, it's a tossup, and in that case, I think we should defer to something more "official". –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 14:30, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose move. It is widely know as the Spanish flu. It is as much a historical event than a medical one. Are you going to apply this guideline to Black Death too ?--Aréat (talk) 14:15, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
    But this is widely known as the 1918 influenza pandemic. I had hardly ever seen it referred to as anything else. The analogy with the Black Death doesn't really work either, since no one ever refers to that by the year or the bacterium which caused it. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 14:28, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
    I'm in my 50s, in the US, and have never heard it called the 1918 influenza pandemic, except as a functional explanation of what the Spanish Flu was and when it happened. I'm against the rewriting of history. Mkcmkc (talk) 18:25, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
    @Aréat: I feel that the title Black Death is fine because that is what it is most commonly called. I feel in this case, it is common to refer to it either way. Interstellarity (talk) 14:58, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
    I completely disagree. It's not uncommon to name it by year, but it's most commonly referred to as Spanish flu. my experience is the opposite of Deacon Vorbis. I've rarely seen it referred to by year in non academic settings. I'd have put it at at least three to one. Fortunately we don't have to rely on our personal experiences; Renata has shown below that there's about a ten to one ratio. A difference that massive from a neutral source should put this to rest. OckRaz talk 18:21, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support move. Over time, the colloquial "Spanish flu" name has been overtaken by more precise and more accurate naming by reliable sources, the CDC,, Britannica, CBS, and so on. Schazjmd (talk) 15:47, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per WP:COMMONNAME. Yes we know it may not have been from Spain. But that's its indelible name now.ZXCVBNM (TALK) 19:06, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per WP:COMMONNAME. a change will hurt our users--and will not help Spain any. Rjensen (talk) 19:13, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose, nominator cited a ignored the clause of "If there is an established, common name for an event ... use that name." at the beginning of the cited guideline. © Tbhotch (en-3). 19:21, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support move. It isn't simply either/or, since there could be a redirect from "Spanish flu". Spanish WP of course already has "Pandemia de gripe de 1918". Errantius (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:20, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support move. Spanish flu is another name for this epidemic, and we can keep a redirect; but the correct name is the 1918 influenza pandemic. This disease did not start in Spain, so it should not be called the Spanish flu. Even today, WHO cautions against using the term "Wuhan coronavirus" for nCoV-19; but at least that would be accurate given that nCoV19 did start in Wuhan. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Narayansg (talkcontribs) 00:30, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Yes definitely. Gah seriously we have it at Spanish flu. 1918 influenza pandemic is what the CDC[4] Britannica[5], and WHO[6] call it. Though would go with 1918-20 influenza pandemic maybe Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:43, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
  • support per nominators rationale--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 02:10, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Move. 1918 influenza pandemic is more "official", used by WHO/CDC and other institutions, it's happened in modern times and we know a lot more about this pandemic compared to other historic pandemics (such as Black Death). "Spanish Flu" is more like something belong in history class.Ckfasdf (talk) 04:01, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
WP:COMMONNAME also said When there are multiple names for a subject, all of which are fairly common, and the most common has problems, it is perfectly reasonable to choose one of the others. Ckfasdf (talk) 08:43, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per common name. "Spanish flu" is by far more popular than any other "more official" name. While not perfect, Google search results clearly illustrate that:
  • Oppose per above. PlanetStar 04:51, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. Ridiculous proposal. -- Netoholic @ 05:17, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
    • some recent scholarship: 1) "The Spanish Flu and the Sanitary Dictatorship: Mexico's Response to the 1918 Influenza Pandemic." The Americas 76.3 (2019): 443-465. (2) "Health shocks and human capital accumulation: the case of Spanish flu in Italian regions." Regional Studies 50.9 (2016): 1496-1508. (3) " GRIPE ESPANHOLA: UMA HISTORIOGRAFIA CENTENÁRIA REVISITADA" Ler Historia (France). 2018, Issue 73, p21-43. (4) "LA GRIPPE ESPAGNOLE EN ITALIE, 1918-1920." Nuova Rivista Storica (Italy) 2015, Vol. 99 Issue 1, pp 195-226. (5) "The Recent Wave of ‘Spanish’ Flu Historiography." Social History of Medicine (2014), Vol. 27 Issue 4, p789-808. Rjensen (talk) 06:25, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
      Google scholar recent results show near parity in common name; searching on "since 2016" &" 2019":
      • "spanish influenza pandemic" 9990 hits & 2730 hits
      • "1918 influenza pandemic" 9720 hits & 2670 hits
      (And note that many hedge their bets by including both in title, such as "The Impact of the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic in Canada" and that the search results for "spanish influenza pandemic" include "spanish flu" in the body rather than the title) Schazjmd (talk) 14:00, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support. As it HAS been known by both names, the year date is much more specific and immediately associated to the pandemic than the vague, incorrect and misleading geographical naming. Mystichumwipe (talk) 06:55, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
  • support - Spanish flu is a misnomer, and goes against WHO guidelines. Yes I know it’s ex post facto, but still a good guideline. --awkwafaba (📥) 13:11, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. WP:COMMONNAME applies here, and "Spanish flu" does, indeed, appear to be the more common name, as others have shown. Phediuk (talk) 14:55, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support rename to 1918 influenza pandemic I came here because of an alert through WikiProject Medicine. I support because major health organizations use the term 1918 Influenza outbreak or similar. I recognize the popularity of calling it Spanish flu and recognize that WP:COMMONNAME arguments would apply here in the absence of other context. The other context I see is that the term "Spanish flu" is a product of a historical and more prejudiced era trying to apply blame to a culture. The Spanish–American War was just before this and there was still American intent to blame Spanish for anything bad. In Wikidata at d:Q178275#sitelinks-wikipedia we can see that many other languages do not use Spanish flu as the name for this. It is less useful to teach generations going forward about Spain in international relations, and more useful to use the name for this concept which presents it as a global pandemic. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:00, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
Yes, many don't, but most do. I clicked the first few that showed up in the languages list (mainly our larger projects), and most are titled the Spansih flu. Russian, German, French, Italian, Swedish, and others. Of the ones I clicked, the only one that wasn't titled some derivation of Spanish flu was the Spanish Wikipedia(eswiki), though "gripe española de 1918" is included in the first sentence. The name, though originally as a result of propagandists wanting to ensure that the focus is on another country, has nothing to do with blaming Spain or Spanish people for it, especially not with today's usage. Vermont (talk) 22:35, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This epidemic is widely known by this name, and most searches are under this, not another, name. Michael E Nolan (talk) 17:31, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
  • support per Bluerasberry. More recent sites and books increasingly use this term. Whispyhistory (talk) 20:11, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support. Commonname does not apply to incorrect, misleading, or inappropriate terms. This is why Grand Central Station redirects to the less-common Grand Central Terminal. This misnomer has already been corrected by the relevant major agencies that cover pandemics; we should here too. ɱ (talk) 20:33, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
  • support Commonnames can change over time. I see variations of "1918 influenza" most commonly in contemporary literature. Peaceray (talk) 00:06, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME.--Ortizesp (talk) 00:07, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I don't believe technical/specialist medical terminology is relevant, it should be the most common name, as per WP:COMMONNAME. "The Black Death" is probably not WHO terminology either. Slac speak up! 05:20, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Most commonly called Spanish flu. Fernsong (talk) 07:51, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Spsnish is a misnomer deisenbe (talk) 09:17, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME - this is how it is referred to in most sources of which I am aware. Kelly hi! 10:07, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support 1918-19 flu pandemic is a well-used and well-recognised term, very possibly the most-used and the most-recognised term. I suspect Spanish flu could actually be the less well-known name in the UK; maybe I'm an exception but I don't think I heard the term "Spanish flu" for a long time after I knew about the event. About 15 years ago I watched a documentary on William Walker and it simply explained "he died in the flu pandemic of 1918" or words to that effect. And while we prefer a common name, if we have two names that are even roughly equally common it seems reasonable to go for the accurate name not the inaccurate one to be in tune with the needs of readers new to the topic. To introduce them to the title of "Spanish flu" then have to spend half the intro explaining that the name is inaccurate is not ideal. Blythwood (talk) 11:24, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Not that it matters, but I actually knew this in passing as the 1918 pandemic; I only became aware that it was also called the Spanish flu recently (during the current COVID-19 pandemic). A quick look at sources makes it clear that "1918 influenza pandemic" is used at least as often as "Spanish flu", and from what I saw, more recent sources definitely use either "1918 influenza pandemic" or "1918 flu pandemic" WAY more often that "Spanish Flu". The CDC themselves uses "1918 influenza pandemic" and I don't know of a more authoritative source to go to in the English-speaking world that the CDC. Perhaps the WHO? Dennis Osmosis (talk) 12:08, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose – While it did not originate in Spain, Spanish flu best fits the "common name" criteria, both then and now. The reasons listed to reject the common name do not seem compelling, and listing off what the CDC calls it is pretty useless in this case. Master of Time (talk) 12:25, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
    • In addition, citing academic articles is a pretty bad way of gauging the "common name" since they are supposed to be more "objective." Master of Time (talk) 12:29, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Spanish flu fits the "common name" criteria. In French, we say "Grippe espagnole" for a reason. HLFH (talk) 13:32, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Spanish flu is what it has been called and how people refer to it by a factor of 3 according to Google Books ngram search of English Books. ref. It is in line with Wikipedia Commonname guidance. The timing of this change request shows it is 100% politically motivated. Wikipedia should not cave in to such revisionist history--PatentlyObtuse (talk) 14:36, 17 March 2020 (UTC).
    Misleading. And if you also include "1918 flu" in the search and use the total, then it's much more comparable. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 18:52, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Common name criteria, per reasons given above. Standardorder (talk) 17:08, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support per COMMONNAME. It says, inaccurate names for the article subject, as determined in reliable sources, are often avoided even though they may be more frequently used by reliable sources. and "When there are multiple names for a subject, all of which are fairly common, and the most common has problems, it is perfectly reasonable to choose one of the others."--SharʿabSalam▼ (talk) 17:21, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose The Spanish Flu is how it is known within standard nomenclature, to change it at this point is simply historic revisionism and only adds to confusion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
  • Oppose It appears the common name is, in aggregate, still the spanish flu. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 19:20, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose I have heard this term a couple of times in my life, all of which were in the last week. Every other time this phenomenon has been referred to it is under the title "Spanish Flu." The concept that this terminology that dates to a century ago is somehow inadequate is a farce being pushed by people who are interested mostly in politics, not in medicine, history, or medical history. It would be like revising "ebola" to reflect the fact that the Ebola River is an African feature and figuring that this made the title of the disease in all contemporary parlance "bigoted" or "wrong." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:02, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose move. I'm sure you haven't actually met someone who has a stigmatized view of Spanish people because a virus is colloquially named after it, as many viruses are. (See CDC website and you will find many diseases, including the Ebola disease named after an African river, that are named after regions/animals/places).— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:22, 17 March 2020 (UTC (UTC)
  • Oppose The COMMONNAME argument alone is sufficient to justify keeping the current name, IMO. Moreover, many people will inevitably be unaware of the exact year of the 1918 pandemic and may therefore be confused and consider this to be a different event. With the topic of pandemics being especially salient in the modern era of COVID-19, the pandemic is being discussed much more as a comparison and as a result, the original name "Spanish Flu" is likely being further promoted and ingrained in public consciousness. Bomb319 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 20:27, 17 March 2020‎ (UTC)
  • Oppose Per WP:COMMONNAME. Its not whats its called, lol. --Havsjö (talk) 20:45, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per common name, and, more importantly, per common sense. Zacwill (talk) 21:26, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. WP:COMMONNAME applies here, and "Spanish flu" does, indeed, appear to be the more common name, as others have shown. WhiteAndNerdly (talk) 21:34, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support per those who have pointed out it's now frequently called something else by reliable sources. Year + pandemic in the title seems like common sense. МандичкаYO 😜 21:37, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose as Wikieditors are trying to literally change the history in this encyclopedia to prevent (or they hope to prevent) contemporaries from calling the current crisis the "Wuhan" or "China coronavirus" epidemic. An encyclopedia is no place for this retconning nonsense. Shame on you, and on what you've done in the coronavirus article. --21:46, 17 March 2020 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME, WP:SOAP, and WP:CENSOR. TXAggie (talk) 21:53, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. Obviously. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 22:44, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. FunkyDuffy (talk) 22:56, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME.  — Amakuru (talk) 23:08, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. WP:COMMONNAME is very clear on this point, and the claim that "1918 influenza pandemic" is more common is dubious. I would also draw attention to how it would damage Wikipedia's credibility if it starts changing the names of century-old events to suit a current political agenda. The Invisible Hand (talk) 23:52, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME, WP:SOAP, and WP:CENSOR. (talk) 22:21, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Against. Changing the name is a bad idea. The name 'Spanish Flu' is commonly understood to refer to that pandemic. Changing the name to the '1918 pandemic' stigmatizes people and things that originated in 1918. talk: NyetGoatk (talk) 18:26, 12 March 2020 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
  • Oppose, this would be a totally pointless move, the pandemic is widely known as the Spanish flu, the only reason this is being proposed is because of modern political controversies, which are totally irrelevant to Wikipedia. -- (talk) 22:33, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. A terrible, political motivated, propagandistic attempt to rewrite history. This reflects shamefully on the entire wiki. How much more does this need to be argued? Edwardjones76 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:45, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose We wouldn't be here if Wuhan coronavirus wasn't in the title of the original name of the article everyone's reading these days. Changing this article title at this time is dangerous to the entire Wikipedia project: how far will the newspeak project go? If the arguments for changing this article's title can be sustained in the aftermath of today's coronavirus situation, then maybe we might consider changing this one. I advise extreme caution. This place is intended as a neutral, unbiased platform for fact sharing. Geographyinitiative (talk) 00:06, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Why the sudden interest in moving this now? The only reason I can see for the timing is that it is support the Chinese Communist Party propaganda. The World Health Organisation went along with renaming the Wuhan Coronavirus COVID-19 because the People's Republic of China is one of their major donors. Is wikipedia also bought and paid for? Agmartin (talk) 00:47, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose move. This is quite the controversial proposal, but I personally believe "Spanish flu" is the common name, even if it most likely didn't originate in Spain. O.N.R. (talk) 00:47, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per common name, as highlighted many times already here. Dmoore5556 (talk) 00:50, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose The sudden interest in renaming appears to be driven by those parroting the propaganda of a certain autocratic regime that objects to the current name of the Wuhan virus. Wikipedia should not serve the interests of propagandists. (talk) 01:07, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose, there is no need to change the name from a scientific point of view. Will we rename every animal, plant, virus, and fungi with the word in Spanish in it's name? It was called Spanish Flu at the time, and it is a valid definition. Also it does not reflect well that we make this change for an authoritarian regime like China. the connection with the Corona (Also called Wuhan) Virus cannot be denied. But that is just a secondary argument for me.TheDarkMaster2 (talk) 01:36, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose, Ngram viewer shows that "Spanish Flu" is a far more WP:COMMONNAME for it and WP:NOTCENSORED.2600:8801:B04:2000:18B6:BA73:D068:B984 (talk) 03:32, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per WP:COMMONNAME. Absurd. Are we going to rename the Black Death the 1347-1351 bubonic plague epidemic too? Periander6 (talk) 05:16, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support per nomination, Deacon Vorbis, Schazjmd, Errantius, Narayansg, Doc James, Ozzie10aaaa, Ckfasdf, Mystichumwipe, awkwafaba, Bluerasberry, Whispyhistory, ɱ, Peaceray, deisenbe, Blythwood, Dennis Osmosis, SharʿabSalam and Мандичка. Since top-tier reliable sources, such as the CDC, Britannica and WHO refer to it as the "1918 influenza pandemic", so should the main title header of its Wikipedia entry. As for common name, 1918 influenza pandemic may be to Spanish flu as the main header of Wikipedia's article "Myocardial infarction" is to "Heart attack" which redirects to it. —Roman Spinner (talkcontribs) 06:12, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. If the title must change then the Black Death article and similar articles would need to be given watered-down, harder-to-find names as well. Which is why this name change is unnecessary. RopeTricks (talk) 06:36, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Note: I am tagging this discussion with {{not a ballot}}, as it has been linked on the Reddit communities /r/kotakuinaction2 and /r/WikiInAction, and it seems there may be some brigading going on. –IagoQnsi (talk) 06:49, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
    • I don't see how this is relevant in this discussion and seems to be a way to make the Opposition to change seem less truethful than the support side. People will post wiki discussions if they deem it relevant.TheDarkMaster2 (talk) 15:50, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME. COMMONNAME states the following: "When there are multiple names for a subject, all of which are fairly common, and the most common has problems, it is perfectly reasonable to choose one of the others." It seems that "Spanish flu" and "1918 influenza pandemic" are both commonly used. "Spanish flu" may be more popular, but given how misleading it is (since the flu didn't actually originate in Spain), "1918 influenza pandemic" seems to be preferable based on this policy. –IagoQnsi (talk) 06:53, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. I've had several informal discussions, and everyone has addressed it as 'the Spanish flu'. I have not heard anyone addressing it as 'the 1918 influenza pandemic'. --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:10, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Everybody above has already made all the Wikipedia policy arguments I'd make, so I'm just going to say, can we please stop making all these kneejerk revisionist suggestions? Yes, I am aware that it's the 21st century and we need to be as inclusive and huggy and lovey as possible, but the world isn't a huggy and lovey place, and neither is an encyclopedia. --benlisquareTCE 07:24, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Weak Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. "1918 influenza pandemic" appears the "proper" academic term, but "Spanish flu" is still everyday use from what I can see. In practice it will matter little, as one title will redirect to the other, and neither is wrong.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Averell23 (talkcontribs) 07:48, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • SUPPORT: Modern secondary sources are moving over to this title. Lizzie Harrison 21:53, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
  • As per Wikipedia's own articles, it was actually an Injustice to Center the focus on Spain itself, and ironic that's Spain's free press at the time was partially the cause of this because other countries where's suppressing their coverage during wartime. Bobsearch (talk) 22:16, 15 March 2020 (UTC) Bobsearch (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
  • Oppose. The influenza pandemic of 1918, was not caused by people of Spanish decent, but it will be forever known as Spanish flu. Changing the title will not only serve to confuse, it will cause the event to be lost in history. Wikipedia shares knowledge for the smart and the dumb. Let us amateur reader's of history have the knowledge. It's not a community to change history. It's there for us to learn from. Frederick Nathan Glass (talk) 00:36, 18 March 2020 (UTC) Frederick Nathan Glass (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
  • Support Name Change:in respect of Scientific Truth. Must however make sure that Any Search including Spanish Flu, World War One Epidemic, 1918 Influenza epidemic, etc. Leads to this Article. Wikipedia ought not coerce readers to use other than their habitual language. Wikipedia is not an IQ Test, but rather seeks to Impart Knowledge. Time will eventually reckon what a best reference shall be, not we. I was delighted to find this article for comparison with Corona virus by Search for 1918 epidemic. FritzYCat (talk) 05:21, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support: In support of Simple Scientific Truth. But Also Make Sure that Any reasonable search string works: Wikipedia should Inform Ignorance, not coerce and punish it. Why do my Talk contributions not display ? I am worried that by presuming my several comments are somehow lost that I am being ridiculously repetitious. Perhaps there is a way for me to Remove any repetitive Talk comments ? FritzYCat (talk) 05:37, 18 March 2020 (UTC) Duplicate "Support" struck
  • Oppose as per user Renata. cagliost (talk) 08:04, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose move. It is widely know as the Spanish flu. Robert Brockway (talk) 08:45, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is the common name. We still talk of Chinese checkers, turkeys, and guinea pigs, even though this is erroneous.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:05, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Mixed - Somewhat conflicting article title policies - Honestly, the title of the article has problems both ways, though it may favor (a change to moving the article away from the current title) leaning to staying with the current title.
    • Per WP:COMMONNAME, a check of sources using both terms lead to a mixture of articles, but more articles found when searching "1918 influenza pandemic" use "Spanish flu" in the name of the article than the other way around. WP:COMMONNAME does say a few things that support a move. The first is with regards to WP:CRITERIA, which WP:COMMONNAME cites twice. The first cite somewhat leans toward a move from the current title by saying "[Wikipedia] generally prefers the name that is most commonly used (as determined by its prevalence in a significant majority of independent, reliable English-language sources) as such names will usually best fit the five criteria listed above." Based on my search results from earlier, I am confident that the majority of sources use "Spanish flu", but I am not confident that it qualifies as a significant majority. There is the matter of what the five criteria say, but I will discuss that in the next part. The second time that WP:CRITERIA is cited is less favorable than the first. A summary of the third paragraph of WP:COMMONNAME states that WP:CRITERIA should be considered for article titles with names that vague or inaccurate to usually be avoided even if they are a common name. Additionally, neutrality should be considered for the article name while making sure that they are not meticulous nor vulgar if possible. Finally, if multiple common names exist and the most common is problematic, then a second name can be used instead. Again setting WP:CRITERIA aside, this section has potential problems for both "Spanish flu" and for "1918 influenza pandemic". For "Spanish flu", is the name too vulgar and non neutral to use? Is using the name "Spanish flu" too inaccurate over another? For "1918 influenza pandemic", is it too detailed over the much simpler "Spanish flu"? Personally, I believe that the single issue I can see with using "1918 influenza pandemic" as lesser than the issues with using "Spanish flu". --Super Goku V (talk) 11:08, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
    • Per WP:CRITERIA, "A good Wikipedia article title has the five following characteristics", listing Recognizability, Naturalness, Precision, Conciseness, and Consistency as the characteristics. I believe that both names fit the first four characteristics with "1918 influenza pandemic" being a better fit for Precision and "Spanish flu" being a better fit for Conciseness. Both have some issues with Consistency though. A look at Category:Influenza pandemics shows nine articles that fit how "1918 influenza pandemic" is formatted and three other articles that fit "Spanish flu", though there are disambiguation pages like "Russian flu", an article called "Fujian flu" that to my understanding deals with a human flu epidemic and a bird flu outbreak, and 2017 Central Luzon H5N6 outbreak which is a bird flu listed as both an outbreak and an epidemic with other articles likely. Thus, I would say that both names have consistency issues. Interestingly enough, the article 2015 Indian swine flu outbreak was created in February 2015 with the only move being to change the year from 2014 to 2015. That article uses the name "Indian swine flu". The 2015 United States H5N2 outbreak article was created in June 2015, but the outbreak started in March 2015. Between the creation of these two articles was new guidelines by the WHO for the names of diseases which might have influenced the name of the article in a way. Outside of the current pandemic, 2016 influenza A virus subtype H5N8 outbreak is the only remaining article listed since 2015 and uses the "1918 influenza pandemic" format, though it is a redirect. Of the remaining articles, most have had minor moves over time. The major moves have been to the following articles: 1968 flu pandemic which started at "Hong Kong flu" and was turned from a stub into a redirect at least one before becoming an article again and then moved after this discussion due to this article's being called "1918 flu pandemic" at the time. Even more major than that was the 2009 flu pandemic name which started as a stub article called "Mexican flu" before being moved three times in its first 24 hours with the final of the moves being from an informal discussion. ("Mexican flu → Mexican swine flu outbreak → 2009 Mexico and U.S. outbreak → 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak) That decision was somewhat discussed for a few times. (Etc, etc.) The most notable discussion was this one which is its own archive and references the "1918 flu pandemic" article. The article was finally moved to its current name after one last discussion that mostly resolved things. I have linked quite a bit here as there have been numerous past debates that have listed this article's original name as a reason to change. The move discussion that renamed this article was somewhat simple; the prior requests and following discussions were not with this discussion being the lengthiest so far on the name. --Super Goku V (talk) 11:08, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
    • To begin to wrap this up, I would like to also mention WP:NPOVNAME, in particular the second numbered bullet point. The preceding text notes that there are times where a common name is not used for lacking neutrality with the second numbered point saying "Colloquialisms where far more encyclopedic alternatives are obvious". A few of the replies above note that "Spanish flu" is the colloquial term, though is "1918 flu pandemic" an appropriate encyclopedic alternative name? WP:COMMONNAME states that other encyclopedias can be useful to help find the proper common name for the article. Encyclopædia Britannica links to the same location for both terms, with the location being Influenza pandemic of 1918–19. Outside of Britannica, I did not find another online encyclopedias to use as a source to the problem, thus it isn't likely to be enough to support a move either way. -- Those are my thoughts on this controversial matter. --Super Goku V (talk) 11:08, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Since 2008, Wiktionary has had an entry for Spanish influenza and two for Spanish flu Spanish Flu There is a red link for 1918 influenza on that page, but no one ever made that page. I recommend that the people that support this move make that Wiktionary page first-- that is, make sure that what you want this Wikipedia article's name to be is even an accepted part of the English language according to our friends in Wiktionary, and then I will start to think about whether or not this change is not rash, dangerous, disorderly and damaging to Wikipedia. Respect me that much, and I will start to try to think about whether or not you are trying to make a legitimate change to this page because all I can see is an agenda being forced on the English language. Geographyinitiative (talk) 11:44, 18 March 2020 (UTC) duplicate Oppose struck
  • Oppose I believe that this would set a precedent that it would not be feasible to uphold. Just a cursory list of what we may need to change:
This is, I am sure, just a very small subsection of what may need to be altered to fulfil the precedent this would set, and this is only within the realm of natural disasters. I am sure there are countless articles on a wide range of topics whose title differs from that in academic usage, and even if it were feasible to change them all, I would argue that academic usage is still not sufficient to change the names of some titles. In cases such as the Black Death or Spanish Flu, these are not simply scientific phenomena, they are events in world history and take on a significance that is better expressed by their traditional epithets than by academic nomenclature.
Uranium grenade (talk)
  • @Uranium grenade: Those titles are not like this one because no reliable sources have started using a different name for those events. Reliable sources have started changing the name of this flu; the CDC, WHO,, Britannica, CBS all call it some variant on "1918 influenza pandemic" (see links earlier in discussion). –IagoQnsi (talk) 23:34, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Concur with Uranium grenade and many other similar sentiments above. - JGabbard (talk) 14:44, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are many, many diseases and outbreaks named after specific places. Maximajorian Viridio (talk) 15:03, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME as others have said. While I don't want to assume bad faith, I do think the motive behind this suggestion is politicised, which would be poor form. — Richard BB 17:24, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose This is an Orwellian attempt to rewrite history for political gain. Don't tolerate it. (talk) 17:54, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME: "When there are multiple names for a subject, all of which are fairly common, and the most common has problems, it is perfectly reasonable to choose one of the others." Xavexgoem (talk) 18:03, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment: This portion of the WP:COMMONNAME policy is more to do with the organised source-stuffing of issues such as territorial disputes. We use the name Liancourt Rocks despite Dokdo apparently being the WP:COMMONNAME, because since the early 2000s, the South Korean government has made a concerted effort to push the name Dokdo as much as it can, inflating the numbers of google hits and whatnot. --benlisquareTCE 23:13, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose This reasons for this sudden concern over the name of a historical virus aren't scientific, but political. Leave it as it is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:C7F:B813:9000:1CFC:564F:FE50:7414 (talk) 18:34, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support per Doc James et al. No need to keep this misleading name by default.  Grue  18:40, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose It's time-racist against the past to change the name to '1918 pandemic'. Millions of people and things were created in this year. Assigning a pandemic to the year of their origin would smear the names of beings living, nonliving and dead. NyetGoatk (talk) 18:51, 18 March 2020 (UTC) NyetGoatk NyetGoatk (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
  • Strongly oppose, the Spanish flu was a historic event of such magnitude that it needs its own name, which it already has: "Spanish flu". I also expect that the change was proposed for political reasons and would give a dangerous precedent. Neozoen (talk) 19:03, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose, The name change is a knee-jerk reaction to current geopolitical events, and will only serve to generate further confusion, as well as set a terrible precedent for revisionism — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:5B0:51C7:7278:25ED:72F6:4A8D:48F7 (talk) 19:07, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose, any attempt to change Spanish Flu to some politically correct goodthink tier generic nonsense for clear and obvious propaganda purposes will permanently and irrevocably destroy Wikipedia's reputation forever, do not do this under any circumstances, the world is watching — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1700:1730:F170:4DB4:CDD3:3C7E:B673 (talk) 19:26, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as per the many arguments above and WP:COMMONNAME. I think renaming the article will neither have a clarifying effect nor is currently accurate. Rather, it appears to serve a contemporary agenda and, if allowed to occur, will set a revisionist precedent that will harm Wikipedia's legitimacy in future. TheAnayalator (talk) 19:32, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose, I take the WP:COMMONNAME policy as an opposition to the move. Although official, scientific, birth, original, or trademarked names are often used for article titles, the term or name most typically used in reliable sources is generally preferred.' When the policy talks about a most common name having 'problems', I do not see this name having problems that would discount it. Although we do not usually rely on googlehits alone in an opposition, for a common name discussion, and with the google hits showing such a strong difference, I agree with Renata's objection. Agent00x (talk) 19:59, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose, it's clear that events in world history are given geographic eponyms and naming the article consistent with those is given from WP:COMMONNAME. Many editors are suggesting this proposal is for accuracy when the timing of "adjusting" the title of this article clearly serves a political and revisionist purpose. If this proposal is accepted, it is an indicator of the growing weakness in Wikipedia's mission of neutrality. Lordevi (talk) 20:01, 18 March 2020 (UTC) Lordevi (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
  • Oppose, changes like this shouldn't be done at a time when there is a likely-temporary political movement against a well-established naming convention. Also, a world where everything is named as boring as possible isn't one I want to live in. Proofbygazing (talk) 20:30, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Mixed, While the name is a misnomer, I can see this campaign as being heavily influenced by current events, and potentially pushed by certain international forces. Instead, I think it would be a good idea to keep the name as-is for now, and return to the issue a few months later, when things aren't as heated. Perhaps then, a more level-headed conversation can be had. In any case, the original name 'Spanish Flu' must be clearly referenced in the intro paragraph, to ensure an academic continuity. 2607:9880:2148:50:8824:66AC:6E4:899E (talk) 21:44, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME, but I would not be opposed to revisiting the subject when everything in the world has calmed down. QueerFilmNerdtalk 22:16, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment. IMO it would be better to shelve this discussion for the moment and revisit it when it stops being a US culture war issue. There is a case both ways, but reading the discussion above the likelihood of giving it a fair consideration right now seems fairly low to me. —Nizolan (talk · c.) 23:01, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. Upsidedown Keyboard (talk) 23:13, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Wrong time This appears to be a culture war issue, as put above. This discussion is being canvassed on Reddit, and attracting strong opinions not based on policy. I don't see consensus emerging here. I think this should wait 6-12 months, at which point this should be re-heard in a more calm climate. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 23:32, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. This seems to be an attempt to censor/prevent people from using the widely used "Wuhan Virus"/"Wuhan Coronavirus" names in reference to the new coronavirus from Wuhan China, by retroactively modifying history to pretend that the precedent of naming viruses based on geographical origin does not exist, when it clearly does. Symphony Regalia (talk) 23:37, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME - This whitewashing proposal is not productive, we should abide by the historical term as it is most honest to the event. PalmerTheGolfer (talk) 23:57, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose per WP:COMMONNAME and the fact the '\[year\]-[disease] outbreak' format doesn't evoke any associations unless you're a scholar, and in particular doesn't distinguish the catastrophic pandemic from minor local events. For this reason it appears at similar frequency to the common name in scientific articles, but NOT in common use. We don't call Hurricane Katrina '2005 Tropical Storm', no matter how persons named Katrina might be offended. We don't call Second World War 'Armed Conflict of 1939-3945'. We don't call the Holocaust '1941-1945 Jewish pogrom series'. Sharpfang (talk) 23:58, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. Changing it would be beyond ridiculous and would destroy any integrity or value Wikipedia even has left. Let's not try to rewrite history because of shortsighted modern political-correctness. Bruce Campbell (talk) 00:03, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is a legitimate question, but it is clearly not an appropriate time to make this change since the proposal is obviously in response to the controversy around the term 'Chinese Coronavirus'. For what it's worth, where I live I have almost exclusively heard of this referred to as the Spanish Flu. Worth taking up the question again when the current pandemic has blown over. --DrCruse (talk) 00:28, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support There are many reasons not to call it the Spanish Flu. I'm not convinced by any of the arguments in favor of retaining that name. - kosboot (talk) 00:34, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support There are many reasons not to call it the Spanish Flu. I'm not convinced by any of the arguments in favor of retaining that name. I agree with the option of Kosboot above and so repeat and repeat from others-the 1918 pandemic did not originate in Spain and so is mis-named. -Mattamsn (talk) 15:39, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose because of obvious WP:COMMONNAME issues. No one, but no one, calls it the 1918 infuenza pandemic. It's been called the Spanish flu for a century, and it will remain so. —Torchiest talkedits 01:19, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support For the same reason we should consider renaming towns/rivers with prejudicial names. Additionally, since there is no evidence that the 1918 flu originated in Spain it is misleading to call it the 'Spanish Flu'. - Del-Domi-ponte (talk) 01:29, 19 March 2020 (UTC) Del-Domi-ponte (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
    • That's nonsensical. "We" don't get to rename towns/rivers with prejudicial names because "we" are not some political power, "we" are an encyclopedia neutrally reporting facts... such as what this epidemic has been commonly called for a hundred years now. If you want to go on some grand crusade to Right Great Wrongs, you're on the wrong website. (talk) 02:22, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose The original name is the WP:COMMONNAME. The proposed change would push some political views in contravention of WP:NPOV. Wikipedia uses the common name by default to avoid favoring any particular side. —Lowellian (reply) 01:54, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • @Lowellian: It's not political; the name "Spanish flu" has fallen out of favor with the CDC, WHO, Britannica, and CBS, all generally non-partisan sources. This discussion was started a day before Trump made his tweet about "Chinese Virus" as a name for COVID-19. I presume this discussion being started is just a natural result of this article having a lot more eyes on it recently. –IagoQnsi (talk) 03:22, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
Spanish flu remains the most common name, and the organizations you name still commonly use the term Spanish flu. And when certain political factions are pushing a particular name, it absolutely is political. —Lowellian (reply) 04:38, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
It is absolutely politcal, at least the most recent push to change the name.TheDarkMaster2 (talk) 11:38, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support. It was mislabeled to begin with, not much argument refuting that. CDC calls it the 1918 flu. History books will be slowly revised to align with the facts, maybe leaving a footnote “for 100+ years the flu was misnamed as the Spanish Flu, due to much of the news at the time being published by Spain.” It’s a generational thing - after everyone clinging on to this wrong name pass on, and more people are educated with it being called by a more proper name, its “common name” will become the 1918 flu. No doubt this will change one day. Think of this Wikipedia decision as deciding to fix the article name now, or waiting ~30 years to fix it. Skeptic? I bet you can come up with at least 10 “common names” for other things that were mislabeled in the past and now are no longer used. --Zojj tc 01:55, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment: "after everyone clinging on to this wrong name pass on, and more people are educated with it being called by a more proper name... No doubt this will change one day." - When it happens, it'll happen. We'll worry about it then. Until that point in time, there are plenty of these old-fashioned people still alive and kicking, and some of them (such as myself) don't plan on dying for at least another 60 years. Wikipedia was not built in one night, and there is no rush to correct this injustice in preparation for the hypothetical event that everyone will call it the 1918 influenza in three decades from now. Consensus on Wikipedia can change in the future, and the WP:COMMONNAME of the topic in mainstream literature can also change in the future; when they eventually do change, we can revisit this discussion, and make the required changes if necessary. --benlisquareTCE 03:01, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
I Think you mean the more easily led younger generation.TheDarkMaster2 (talk) 11:38, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
@Benlisquare: Mind if I ask for a bit more clarification on your comment? I get that Zojj's vote really only lists the CDC as support for a move, but your comment here is kinda confusing as well for someone in your position. --Super Goku V (talk) 10:14, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
The essential gist of it is, if the common term to describe the topic is anticipated to change many years into the future, then we worry about it then, and not now. Anticipating that a change might occur in the future isn't grounds for renaming on Wikipedia. Wikipedia articles should use what existing third-party literature already uses, and should not be a trendsetter or a pioneer; forcing change is not Wikipedia's job. --benlisquareTCE 14:18, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per WP:COMMONNAME and to generally preserve, rather than re-write, history. Lots of diseases are named for places where they first became well-known; there's nothing stigmatizing about Spanish Flu. Argyriou (talk) 01:57, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
WP:NOTFORUM EvergreenFir (talk) 00:32, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
  • @Argyriou: The only people talking about the name being stigmatizing or racist or whatever have been people voting "oppose"; no one is arguing that we should change it for that reason. The real issue is that it's misleading. The virus did not originate in Spain, and was no more prevalent there than in France/UK/Germany/US; the name came about because the newspapers at the time were minimizing coverage of the virus in warring countries. Reliable sources such as the CDC, WHO, Britannica, and CBS have started using a different name, and we should follow suit. –IagoQnsi (talk) 03:16, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Not matching the country of origin is not necessarily grounds for renaming. The English horn was invented in France, the French horn was invented in England, Guinea pigs came from South America, Japanese pirates were overwhelmingly Chinese and Korean in ethnicity, Chinese checkers was invented in the United States, and greek service (definition 7) isn't Hellenic in origin. --benlisquareTCE 03:29, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • @IagoQnsi: NO. "Following suit" is absolutely the wrong thing to do. The fact that CDC, WHO, Britannica and CBS are changing things now merely shows that these sources are making a political move that the Communist Party of China wants us to make for them (self censorship)- it's a mark against their credibility my friend, not evidence that Wikipedia should change to suit the whims of a political frenzy. Geographyinitiative (talk) 03:35, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • @IagoQnsi: We know that the Communist Party of China wants to eliminate the memory that the current virus is called Wuhan coronavirus to shore up its political stability in mainland China and its international credibility. To do that, the precedent of any viruses being named for their potential place of origin must be eliminated from English language culture so as to demonstrate that any person calling the virus Wuhan coronavirus is a White nationalist racist. If Spanish flu can be called Spanish flu, then it proves that Wuhan coronavirus is not a racist term, because the normal course of English language usage has historical precedents in which location names (like Ebola) can be used in virus names. But if Spanish flu is shown to be the wrong word, then Wuhan coronavirus can be more leigitmately labeled as a morally evil term used only by racists. CDC, WHO, Britannica and CBS can be right 99% of the time but make politically-driven mistakes on some points, and we don't need to pretend their mistakes are right just because they are good on 99% of the issues. The recentness of this change only demonstrates that they are not 100% reliable as sources for all mainstream English language usages. Go add 1918 flu to Wiktionary if you can do it- we already have Spanish influenza. Once 1918 influenza/1918 flu is established on Wiktionary as a legitimate English language term, then the process of deciding whether or not to move this page to a less well-known name for the disease can even think about beginning. Is Wikipedia the NBA? (reference to Daryl Morey#Twitter comments on Hong Kong) No we are not- English Wikipedia is blocked in mainland China since 2019 because we follow the facts instead of Communist Party of China policy. This discussion is all about maintaining the soft power and influence of the Communist Party of China and nothing about the name of this disease. Geographyinitiative (talk) 21:57, 19 March 2020 (UTC) (modified)
  • Oppose There is no strong argument in favor of a change other than that a date is more specific and often used in common reference. Thus, the only reasonable change would be to '1918 Spanish Flu'. If the name of a country or place is racist then there would be definite issues when making a map and labeling everything as 'X'. There could be no Irish pubs, Mexican food, British cars, Canadian bacon, French dresses, or Italian leather. It's a strong attack on the integrity of the English language, our ability to communicate, and even our ability to think using clearly defined conceptual symbols and representations. Wikipedia is one of the greatest collections of human knowledge ever assembled, and to submit to usurpation by such a politically driven agenda would be a grave corruption of its use and purpose. JeffreyAlexanderMartin (talk) 02:00, 19 March 2020 (UTC) JeffreyAlexanderMartin (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
  • Strongly oppose per WP:COMMONNAME and general historical consensus on the name. Kettleonwater (talk) 02:28, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • OPPOSE move. This is clearly a reaction to unrelated contemporary news. If the change is to be made, it should be made after the current climate has subsided. No argument in favor of changing the name holds validity. Since the “Spanish flu” is a well known incident, changing its name makes it more vague, not less. Imagine changing the phrase “The Dustbowl” to “early-1930s mid-western drought and famine.” Technically more accurate, but significantly less useful as an identifier. The Spanish Flu is tied, not just to the pandemic itself, but to the geopolitical consequences as well. ICTaylor (talk) 02:50, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose Since when we start changing history because someone hurts his/her feeling? Should we also rename all history event? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:4420:e402:300:6c5c:4a5a:7ab5:cfaf (talk) 03:29, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose This is my fourth comment here. What this is that we are doing here is called self censorship. The Communist Party of China wants us to forget that the original name of the virus was Wuhan coronavirus, and to do that it must wreck the history of the English language which includes viruses that were named after locations. I repeat- the fact that CDC, WHO, Britannica and CBS are changing things now merely shows that these sources are making a political move that the Communist Party of China wants us to make for them (self censorship)- it's a mark against those sources' credibility my friends, not evidence that Wikipedia should change to suit the whims of a political frenzy. Geographyinitiative (talk) 03:38, 19 March 2020 (UTC) duplicate Oppose struck
    • It should be noted that the article history of the Britannica page on this topic clearly shows that it has had the name "Influenza pandemic of 1918–19" for many years. The last time the title was changed was in 2009, when it was changed from "Influenza epidemic of 1918–19" to its current name. The CDC article was last modified on 20 March 2019, so its title has also not been altered in response to COVID-19. I assume the note on CBS refers to this article, mentioned by a user above. This article was written on 8 March 2020 with no mentioned alterations so it is unlikely CBS changed this title recently; however, this article could be evidence of changing standard naming practices at CBS, which in turn could be but is not necessarily evidence of self-censorship. Jaydavidmartin (talk) 04:17, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly support as it is a more adequate name. Veverve (talk) 03:41, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose as it is not by any measure a more adequate name and is not the Wiktionary-used name. Geographyinitiative (talk) 03:45, 19 March 2020 (UTC) duplicate Oppose struck
  • Oppose Maybe "oppose" doesn't begin to capture it. It is obvious to any honest person that the only reason this is up for discussion is because the CCP has a fragile ego about the Wuhan Coronavirus, and literally compensates people to make any argument that could help them disassociate the current events with their actions and inactions. I understand having a soft spot for "correctness" and sensitivity, but it's literally just called the Spanish Flu, it is hardly ever referred to by any other name, and the recent interest in doing so comes from a disgusting place in the human heart. There is no Spanish person harmed by the name "Spanish Flu", and there is no conceivable way that this article will be found by the proposed incorrect name. The motivations for changing the name of this article are inappropriate. Aaron Muir Hamilton <> (talk) 04:49, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose everyone calls it the Spanish Flu in common parlance. WP:COMMONNAME carries. As it does with Black Death, Plague of Justinian, Antonine Plague, Year Without A Summer, 1993 Storm of the Century, White Friday Avalanche, Black Saturday bushfires, Ash Wednesday Bushfires, Schoolhouse Blizzard, St. Felix's Flood, St. Lucia's flood, Saint Marcellus's flood, and others. Keep the Spanish Flu. Keep the common names. End this canvassed revisionism. —wing gundam 05:06, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose move. We do not need people to continue to rewrite history to suit a political agenda in the present day. It is what it is and we would be remiss to change history.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:46, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose as ridiculous revisionism after it has been decreed in obscure circles that we cannot call our current affliction a "Chinese virus". Dahn (talk) 05:46, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Why is the opening sentence still revisionistic despite the overwhelming vote of opposes? 2601:602:9200:1310:89EC:62D:4BF:1B7F (talk) 09:53, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • This is not a vote, and Wikipedia is not a democracy. Consensus is gained through discussion of policy and content, rather than a game of numbers; otherwise, anyone can amass a mob and push though disruptive changes by majority rule. Once an adequate duration of time has passed, this move discussion will eventually be closed; until then there's no need to rush it, the article isn't going anywhere. --benlisquareTCE 11:26, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose The page should remain under the current title because the epidemic is popularly known as SPANISH FLU. People who want to read about this will always search for SPANISH FLU rather than its new name. Changing the page title will confuse the common user who doesnt understand the complexities of a title. Yaksha Prashna (talk) 10:05, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support Keep as a redirect, but use the correct name as per WHO / CDC / most official sources. SQB (talk) 12:13, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Move The CDC, WHO, and Britannica all use the name "1918 Influenza Pandemic". Even if there's a different name that people use casually, it's good for us to follow appropriate conventions and use the accurate name. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 13:05, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose the change. Spanish flu is clearly the common name for this historical event. The timing of this suggested change in light of current events cannot be ignored, and I oppose any knee-jerk changes to the historical record to support a political narrative. Wikipedia should be above this. Fordm48 (talk) 13:15, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose move. No one cared about this until last week and that should be enough evidence of the political nature of the move request. Concur with following Google search numbers posted below. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:25, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose Per WP:COMMONNAME. It is most commonly known by everyone as the Spanish Flu and should not change. Michael14375 (talk) 13:36, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment: Interestingly, the Global Times, one of the propaganda arms of the Chinese Communist Party, seems to have taken somewhat of a keen interest in this Wikipedia page in their latest article. It makes mention of specific Wikipedia users by name who have edited the content of the article, and it also mentions, quote, "a foreign Twitter campaign to ensure that the designation of the 1918 influenza pandemic as the Spanish Flu does not repeat once again (with the 2019 coronavirus) to sully the name of China". We might have more state-based actors quietly watching our discussions than we've previously thought. Consider this a gentle caution that anything you write on this talk page might one day end up on a Chinese state-owned newspaper. --benlisquareTCE 15:25, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Wikipedia’s naming convention is WP:COMMONNAME first. We may go with official names or other disambiguators when the common name is ambiguous and the official name provides a form of natural disambiguation. That is not the case here as there is no ambiguity and the common name is clear. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:43, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Longstanding common name for disease should remain in place. Binksternet (talk) 16:01, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose This is my second comment, I just want to say having read the support arguments I do not assume good faith on their part, and neither should you. This is 100% a political campaign to destroy human knowledge. No credible argument can be made that "Influenza 1918-1919" or whatever gibberish it is the proper or common name for this outbreak. Do you guys know that Holocaust is defined as mass destruction by fire/nuclear weapons? Better change the Holocaust to "1939-1945 killing of Jews and other Minorities via Gas, Starvation and Disease" — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1700:1730:F170:5062:428D:E58E:B989 (talk) 16:52, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support, per the guideline and WP:COMMONNAME. I don't know what off-wiki canvassing has been done but a fair number of the oppose !votes are, frankly, bizarre. Miniapolis 17:24, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment: Maybe before poisoning the well to discredit your opponent, you should hover over a few usernames using WP:POPUPS, and realise that a significant amount of oppose !votes come from sysops, and that (as of writing) more sysops oppose this move than support it. Unless you're somehow convinced that sysops on Wikipedia are compromised? --benlisquareTCE 22:56, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose Per all the others and especially TonyBallioni. WP:COMMONNAME best serves all readers. Bodding (talk) 17:29, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongest possible oppose - It's been the common name for decades. The timing of this discussion makes me suspicious given the fact that media outlets are going nuts over Trump calling coronavirus the "Wuhan virus". I'm not trying to cast aspersions or make assumptions, but there's a decent chance that there's at least a little bit of a political motivation for starting this discussion. Jdcomix (talk) 17:29, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per COMMONNAME. Sources overwhelmingly use “Spanish flu”. Note - it is possible that common usage in modern sources will change (due to the recent off-wiki debates about what to call Covid 19). Suggest a revisit in about a year. Blueboar (talk) 17:50, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • The point of this thread is a discussion to get to a consensus, this is largely not happening in this thread imho, that's why I pose one or two questions to those who support the change: Doesn't the change to the technical and frankly forgettable "1918 influenza pandemic" (shouldn't it be "1918-1920 influenza pandemic"?) downplay the significance and uniqueness of the 1918-1920 event? Shouldn't a historic event of such scale have a proper, unique name like, for example, "Black Death" or "Holodomor"? That the term that stuck just happened to be "Spanish flu" and not "Pale Rider" or "Spanish Lady" is maybe unfortunate but still serves its purpose quite well in my opinion. Also, there is the article "Spanish flu research" on Wikipedia, that would need to change to "1918 influenza pandemic research" as well? Neozoen (talk) 18:21, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose I've read literature and history that referred to the 'Spanish Flu' ... Wikipedia has a solid tradition of disambiguating when needed (and even when not). That doesn't mean volunteer editors trying to find consensus should take it upon themselves to rewrite history. Furthermore, this is the heat of the moment. There is a reasonable argument to be made that the only reason for the impetus to change the name right now is making a political point. Several diseases have been named based on their locale of origin, and I have never seen anyone take offense until now. Whether it is anti-Trump sentiment, pro-China sentiment, or something else, it is our responsibility as Wikipedia editors to not be swayed by passions in the heat of the moment. We're supposed to be much more like judges and a lot less like members of congress.WriteIncunabula (talk) 18:30, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose move. Stop changing history based on current political events, the name "Spanish Flu" reflected the era in history that the pandemic occurred, which was far less politically correct than today. Historical context should rule over opinion every single time. The hypocrisy behind some users who claim that the term is very prejudiced seem to have forgotten that they support renaming COVID-19 in favor of the "Chinese Virus." Yungeditor (talk) 18:35, 19 March 2020 (UTC) Duplicate "Oppose" struck
Bad-Faith Timing: The fact that this proposed change discussion began on March 15th 2020 shows it is politically motivated and done in bad faith. This is innapropriate for Wikipedia and goes against our longstanding mission of creating a neutral and unbiased repository of human knowledge.
• This discussion should be shelved until the conclusion of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
• Wikipedia should remain aloof of contemporary political conflicts.
Revisit Later: We should revisit the topic of changing the name at a later date (say, one year after the conclusion of the current pandemic) -- If the merits of the "support" arguments continue to stand, and people remain passionate about that change.
• If it had truly been legitimately important enough to change the title, that change would have been made YEARS AGO, such as leading up to one of the many times it's been featured on the Article Of The Day, or such as in 2009 when Brittanica changed their article name.
This proposed name change has all the hallmarks of a politically biased change made in bad-faith. Leave it alone for now, and if you still feel strongly about it in a few years, re-open the topic when it is not at the center of a scandalous international current-event!
FuzzyCuteness (talk) 18:39, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • @FuzzyCuteness: There wasn't much media attention on Trump's naming of the virus until the 16th or the 17th (he didn't tweet "Chinese Virus" until the 16th). And you're right that ideally, this would have been discussed years ago. However, Wikipedia is a constant work-in-progress and is often behind the times. It's pretty common for an article to suddenly get a lot of revision when it lands in the news and starts getting a lot of views. This article has had 3.3 million views in the past 14 days. That's nearly half of all 7.8 million views it's gotten since July 2015 (as far back as that link has data for). It's no wonder that there are lots of changes being made recently. –IagoQnsi (talk) 22:51, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose 1. It is overwhelmingly referred to as Spanish flu in existing literature. It would be confusing to suddenly change it to something else. 2. It is a bad idea to be renaming things at a moment when they are related to current events, and therefore the subject of much passion. Decisions like this should be made with cold logic after the passion dies down. 3. There has been little or no confusion to the effect that the Spanish Flu began in Spain. 4. Major events should have a specific name. "Spanish Flu" has been chosen by history. Using a description of the event instead of a proper name deliberately downplays its significant (because we humans give all major events specific proper names). 5. The even may have begun before 1918 and it certainly ended after it. The proposed alternative name is inaccurate EntropyTV (talk) 18:41, 19 March 2020 (UTC) EntropyTV (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
  • Strongly Oppose This is ridiculous. The move to not name diseases after regions is probably good. That is not how the world working 100 years ago. Can we please not project 2020 back. Huckfinne (talk) 19:01, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose Contemporary newspaper reports, and subsequent academic literature, commonly refer to this as the Spanish flu PompeyTheGreat (talk) 19:14, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose. I can't believe that someone would use this pandemic as an opportunity to try to perform social engineering or to right some perceived wrong. As benlisquare has noted, this effort is potentially linked to state actors. And as everyone has said, the term "Spanish flu" is the common name and is how people refer to the pandemic in English, both in literature and in common parlance. BirdValiant (talk) 21:15, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support. It is simply irresponsible to call this the stigmatic name when alternatives exist and are overwhelmingly used by reliable sources. We should also include a "Right wing conspiracy theory" section that addresses the debunked claim being repeated here that the name is only being changed because of COVID-19. I can find us some sources that identify the origin of this conspiracy theory as a bad faith attempt to mask the sinophobia of the Trump administration by comparing it to terms that have been defunct for decades. 2001:44B8:3152:B000:E178:F255:6C02:FC7C (talk) 21:30, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
I ask will you include another section where you discuss the left wing conspiracy theory of said theory. For you seem to be making bad faith assumptions about people who disagree with the name change.TheDarkMaster2 (talk) 12:08, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose as per all of the above. Sir Joseph (talk) 21:35, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I would like to personally request you add the term '1918 influenza' and/or '1918 flu' to Wiktionary. If you can add that entry there successfully, then we will know that that term is actually part of the English language- you have to go through a tough process there to prove the existence of English language terms. Geographyinitiative (talk) 21:40, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support per Doc James and Night Gyr. Jarrod Baniqued (talk) 21:36, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. Concur that this name change could be revisited after this falls out of the news. Vir4030 (talk) 21:39, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Despite the fact that the name Spanish flu is inaccurate (it didn't even originate in Spain), I think it should be grandfather claused since that's the name most people know it as. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:46, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose The name "Spanish Flu" is an important component of the history of that virus, in that the European and American populaces learned about it because Spain, as a neutral power, was one of the few European countries that were not under strict wartime censorship. Additionally, naming diseases after regions/places is not uncommon, e.g. German Measles, Ebola, Lyme disease, West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, etc. Furthermore as an above poster stated this is a patently clear bad faith politically motivated proposed edit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrniceguy101 (talkcontribs) 21:50, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment: This article used to be titled "1918 flu pandemic" from 12 January 2009 until 15 June 2018, when a relatively small discussion was held to move it. –IagoQnsi (talk) 23:15, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose move. Stop changing history based on current political events, the name "Spanish Flu" reflected the attitude during that era when the pandemic occured. Historical context should precede current events such as the current coronavirus pandemic. A historical name should not be changed, because some may find it offensive. Yungeditor (talk) 23:28, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per COMMONNAME, and all of the above. Juno (talk) 00:37, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly support renaming to 1918 influenza pandemic. To be honest, I always thought "Spanish Flu" was just a colloquial term like "Great Flu" (which is the term I acquired growing up in New Zealand/Australia, although maybe atypical?) and I am surprised to see it used as the title currently. I prefer a more precise title with the year and without a geographic reference sufficiently misleading to require explanation. Axver (talk) 00:47, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose I have never heard anyone refer to this outbreak as anything but the Spanish Flu. --Mikeduke324 (talk) 00:53, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose-Not common name. There's nothing wrong with saying Spanish flu, Wuhan virus, etc.Display name 99 (talk) 01:05, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Longstanding common name for the disease. This change seems more like an attempt to rewrite history to protect hurt feelings than to make sure the article is accurate. TAG (talk) 01:29, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Ignoring anything to do with modern politics and polemics, the argument that this title is invalid because it is not accurate (didn't start in Spain) doesn't wash. WP:COMMONNAME includes misnomers when they are the most recognisable, even in scientific subjects. The peanut is a bean. The electric eel is not an eel. The red panda is not a panda. Wallachia Wallonia (talk) 01:46, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Spanish Flu is the most common name for this event and has been since it occurred. There is no need to revise the name post-hoc. The timing of this proposal suggests political motivation. Dyork1939 (User talk:Dyork1939) —Preceding undated comment added 02:34, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Very Strong Support to change and move, as the phrase "Spanish flu" was (and is) a myth and mis-nomer from the why continue to perpetuate it? I'd have no problem calling the 1918 flu the "Spanish flu" IF it in fact started in Spain, was made in Spain, etc...with no doubt. But it's been long known now for a fact that this (definitely) did not originate from Spain at all.
Well first of all the plague started in 1919 so... would you make a page for each year?TheDarkMaster2 (talk) 12:08, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
In fact there's strong evidence to indicate that this influenza of 1918 also originated in northern China in 1917, spreading to Britain via Chinese laborers. And went full-blown in 1918. Spain got the blame because they were the first to admit they had a problem. The UK and China and other places, with suppressing news papers and honest information being dispensed that would be embarrassing or politically harmful, in their arrogance, did not admit it until later.
And to Armchair General (TAG) and Edwardjones76 and benlisquare and others, no, this is not an attempt to 're-write history' but simply to correct a false narrative. Provably false. The Chinese virus of 1918 (and yes I called it that, which name has WAY more historical and factual support) did not (it's not even debatable) originate in Spain at all. (So why exactly perpetuate that myth and lie? Cuz you like the name for some illogical but very emotional reason?) But most likely (if not definitely) from China. Yes, the 1918 flu too. Believe it or not. This is checkable. And if not from there, then possibly (though unlikely) from another European country or America. But definitely not from the country of Spain (or from Spaniards). So the irony is that those who want to retain the term "Spanish Flu" are the ones who are actually "rewriting history"...with the misleading name...because true history does not support the myth that the 1918 flu came from Spain at all.
And it's amazing how the SAME people who have no problem furthering a lie...are uptight about naming this present Corona virus the "China Virus" or the "Chinese Flu", when MOST DEFINITELY this came from China's bad food and eating habits and messy hygiene and carelessness, with boiled alive bats, with mis-haps in facilities in China, that then from a bat went to another weird animal called the pangolin, and then to a human, and then eventually spreading to other countries like Italy (because Italy was always so open border etc), and these editors have no problem keeping "Spanish flu" as a name (no matter how false or inaccurate it clearly is) when it provably never came from Spain or Spaniards, as far as actual origination? "Spanish Flu", as a name for this Chinese flu of 1918 (that's actually more accurate), should go the way of other discredited and inaccurate mythical terms. Period. It's NOT the "Spanish flu". So why call it that? Facts. Not feelings. Truth. Not tradition. Merits. Not mythologies. Many historians and academics don't call it the "Spanish Influenza" anymore. Because they know it's a sloppy and stupid misnomer and misleading term. And that view is copiously sourced. No valid reason to keep a dishonest and dumb name anymore, in a supposedly fact-based online "encyclopedia". To say "Spanish flu" (as I mentioned before) is to really "re-write history". Regards. (talk) 02:27, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support it may be the common name, but it's not terribly accurate, and redirects will do just fine. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 03:12, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose move. It's ridiculous that this is even a discussion. Just because Trump said the origin of a virus people are trying to move the article just to be contrarian to Trump. It isn't offensive to state the origin of a virus, that's just stating facts. HauntingStomper (talk) 03:40, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • (Further comments from the opposition- already voted above) Changing this disease's name now would be bad form. In this article, China's (PRC) ambassador Cui Tiankai is criticizing Trump for calling the current virus 'China virus'. [7] We all know why we are here- not because there is any real legitimate concern about the name of this article, but because the name of diseases has now become part of an international political question. I advise us not to guide the English language but to follow it, and if the name of this disease is only Spanish flu/influenza on Wiktionary (with a red link to 1918 flu) then I think we can say for sure that the usage of the term 1918 flu has not yet been fully analyzed by the community and hence this request ought to fail immediately awaiting deeper clarification about the usage of these two terms over time. A hasty change would discredit the great institution that is Wikipedia. Geographyinitiative (talk) 02:34, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose I find the Oppose comments more convincing. History was written by the winners. It dose not need to be rewritten with every new hot take. EatingFudge (talk) 03:31, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support per reasoning of IagoQnsi (talk · contribs) Snickers2686 (talk) 04:07, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Let's not change history. 1918 flu is not in common usage and it is widely known that it is being pushed as part of a political agenda. MaximumIdeas (talk) 04:55, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose - It is not our position to take political stances, nor is it our position to give extra undue weight to the most recent of sources (WP:RECENTISM specifically warns against causing "the muddling or diffusion of the timeless facets of a subject, previously recognized by Wikipedia consensus"). The clear policy is WP:COMMONNAME, but this is just a matter of encyclopedic common sense. It isn't our job to correct history, but to merely report what the consensus of sources say. And the overwhelming consensus of sources (since 1918) clearly describe this as the "Spanish flu". Therefore, I see no logical nor policy backed reason to make such a change. Coffee // have a ☕️ // beans // 05:18, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose move. This is just bad revisionism to cover-up the fact that nobody cared about putting the country's name with the disease until today. Everybody called it the Spanish flu until "Chinese virus" was thrust into prominence recently. It's also the most common term. I'm willing to change, though; I just haven't seen much solid evidence against it. Ted (talk) 07:47, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support move. Regional names are strongly opposed by the WHO as stigmatising and misleading of what a pandemia is. The fact that the 'Spanish' name is common (as common as the '1918' one, in fact) is not a reason to keep doing wrong. Gaianauta (talk) 09:35, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
I would argue that we should not blindly trust what the WHO says. They themselves have a bias.TheDarkMaster2 (talk) 12:08, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. It is tedious, unnecessary, and Orwellian to change the name in response to backlash over the coronavirus when that has been the established name for decades. Vsmith9 (talk) 12:52, 20 March 2020 (EDT)
  • Oppose Spanish flu was and is its common name.Slatersteven (talk) 14:35, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose move, per WP:COMMONNAME. There is strong evidence this is being proposed to influence COVID-19 discussions; the vast majority of sources including common uses reference the disease as "Spanish Flu" per the common convention at the time to name diseases based up originating location. ♥ Solarra ♥TC — Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}#top|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]]) (14:47, 20 March 2020)
  • Oppose As a continuous and reliable Wikipedia contributor, I have to oppose the proposal to rename the page. Firstly its very apparent this move was just proposed in response to current political actions of US President Donald Trump. Politics shouldn't be allowed to affect the accuracy and validity of any Wikipedia entry. Secondly the name Spanish Flu although some may try to make claims that it's racist and offensive, it's what the illness is most generally known as. It only makes sense to keep the page the same, especially when the new title just seems wordy and needlessly long. Chrisisreed (talk) 14:49, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment People need to stop with the conspiracy theories that this proposed move is an anti-Trump protest of some kind, or political correctness. I'm on record as saying it was a mistake to move this page to Spanish Flu because it was "a dreadfully misleading, outdated name" May 2019. No coronavirus then. Blythwood (talk) 15:33, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • The proposal as well as its timing, topic, and reasoning support the suspicion that it is in bad faith to serve partisan ends. And even if that weren't the case, some individual's contribution to a prior discussion on the topic, regardless of the circumstances at the time, does not suffice to dismiss such a suspicion as being merely a tenuous "conspiracy theory." Die Pillen in mir (talk) 21:43, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME Spanish Influenza is by far the more popular name in literature. (A) Arguments for using "scientific" names violate the policy of using the name in common use, not necessarily the scientific one. (B) Arguments against the accuracy of the name are irrelevant. Ebola was named arbitrarily and incorrectly, but it was nonetheless named that. Wikipedia policy should be followed by choosing the common name, which this article had for years and years. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Draperp (talkcontribs) 15:56, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose move. Google results shows an exponentially higher number of results for Spanish Flu vs 1918 influenza pandemic. Jasonstru (talk) 16:01, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Are we also going to rename Lyme's Disease named after Lyme CT or how about Ebola, named after a river? Just because this issue has been tied to current politics is not a reason to rename it. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 16:14, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME since I have only ever heard it referred to as the Spanish influenza or Spanish flu or some variant thereof. The attempted argumentum ad verecundiam r.e. the WHO fails to recognise that 1) the organisation only came into existence 27 years and eight months after the last few cases of Spanish flu and 2) whatever naming conventions the organisation has r.e. the 1918 pandemic have clearly failed to prevent the pandemic being referred to as 'Spanish'. And as many others have pointed out, the fact that no one seems to have significantly cared about the 1918 pandemic being called 'Spanish' until very recently (i.e. the constant pillorying of anyone who dares to say that COVID-19 originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan) makes the call to rename this article unusual to say the least, especially when the ledes to Wikipedia's own articles on COVID-19 itself and on the ongoing outbreak both state that the first cases were identified in Wuhan.Dvaderv2 (talk) 16:17, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Many people prefer keeping the current name because that's how it appears in literature. However, using the word literature does not imply one is politically neutral, as we know literature is collection of news, news are from media, and media are ususlly politically biased. Those supporting this move (including myself) are worrying about the increasing trend of blaming a disease to a specific country or region, which also has its political purpose. This is what we need to stop. Wikipedia, if you still love and believe in it, should not go in this political way. It should present more accurate and scientific contents to public. Admitting and fixing a mistake is never wrong, no matter it is or is not harshly pointed out by someone. (talk) 16:19, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly in favor Please check the WHO - World Health Organisation guidelines: "Terms that should be avoided in disease names include geographic locations (e.g. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Spanish Flu)" [8]. "Spanish Flu" is not just incorrect: it is also misleading and stigmatising. Gaianauta (talk) 10:12, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • No one is blaming a specific region of the world for a disease, anymore than blaming Guinea for Guinea pigsTheDarkMaster2 (talk) 12:08, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • The article you've linked is titled "WHO issues best practices for naming new human infectious diseases" (emphasis mine), and states:

    The best practices apply to new infections, syndromes, and diseases that have never been recognized or reported before in humans, that have potential public health impact, and for which there is no disease name in common usage. They do not apply to disease names that are already established.

    The quote you cited mentions the Spanish Flu only to illustrate what is no longer appropriate when naming a new disease. The article otherwise does not promote the renaming of any disease, and even if it did, the WHO's prescriptions are not infallible. Die Pillen in mir (talk) 22:45, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
    • If you're worried about politics, write a letter to your congressman. This is an encyclopedia, not an activist group. (talk) 16:54, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. Spanish flu is the standard term. --Spangineerws (háblame) 16:24, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per WP:COMMONNAME. StAnselm (talk) 16:34, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME This pandemic has been known widely as the "Spanish Flu" for a century now. Dare I check the Wikipedia page on the "Black Plague/aka Black Death" to see if this has been revised for SJW reasons as well? This is obviously an attempt to backtrack and do damage control in light of President Trump calling the COVID-19 outbreak the "Chinese Flu", meaning that if some leftist politician had called it that, this discussion would not exist. Therefore, remove all place names from all major pandemics in the past so as to appear even-handed and above board. Let's give poor old Winston Smith working his fanny off down at the Ministry of Truth a little rest. The man only has one razor blade left for Big Brother's sake!RRskaReb talk 17:08, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose This proposed change will only cause confusion and in my opinion done in bad faith, The spanish flu is the common usage for most people that I know and have never really heard anyonce call it the -"1918 influenza pandemic". Those who argue that the name is incorrect are being overly precise to suit a current political postion. Names are not really based on factual presuppositions. Names are created ex nilo, while they may include rule and conventions when choosing a name, they are not required except in very specific professional instances. Names are just what a majority of people call a thing; so we can all identify what we are talking about. It would be like changing the wikipage for Water to "Dihydrogen Oxide" and tell eveyone their morally wrong for calling it Water, instead of "Dihydrogen Oxide". When the reality is the "Dihydrogen Oxide" page is redirected to the "Water" page. I find it odd that people are arguing that is should in fact be the other way round.Jacobdcoates (talk) 16:54, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose

We can also rename the great plague that killed 200M Europeans to the Great Chinese Plague. Because lets just get this out in the open, the only reason there is such a great interest in renaming this article is due to the Chinese not wanting the Wuhan Coronavirus name to stick despite it being a historical trend to name them from where they originate. Despite this being a Chinese name for it. German measles. Russian Flu. Hong Kong Coronavirus. -- (talk) 17:18, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

Actually, German measles did not originate in Germany any more than Spanish flu originated in Spain. I oppose the name change, But, I'm getting tired of these political accusations. O3000 (talk) 17:30, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose The online sources that have changed the name may be "reliable sources" but the majority of the article is based on print sources that were also deemed "reliable sources" and (obviously) have not changed the name. The event in question happened over a century ago, and the article has been on Wikipedia with the current name for nearly 20 years. There is no new information coming out about this event that can be attributed to the sources performing the name change. If tomorrow several news outlets and websites usually considered "reliable sources" decided to simply re-brand the theory of relativity as "invariance theory" (a name Einstein himself preferred), would that Wikipedia article's name have to be changed as well, despite the vast majority of its content coming from sources which refer to it as "relativity"? Miraculouschaos (talk) 17:26, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

Stop casting aspersions about political motivations (we can all do that, and some of us have our own ideas about what this is really about).Slatersteven (talk) 17:14, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

  • Strongly oppose. Wikipedia articles should reflect the common usage of terms as per WP:COMMONNAME. Moreover, this seems odd given that we have names like German measles, Japanese encephalitis, Asian flu, Hong Kong flu, the Zika virus, the Ebola virus, the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Nerd271 (talk) 17:30, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose Wikipedia should not be changed according to historical revisionism. This would imply we also change the names of the West Nile Virus. Saxones288 (talk) 18:11, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Vehemently oppose — Keeping politics out of it, it's been known as the "Spanish flu" for decades because during the first waves of the pandemic, Spain was the only significant uncensored source of information on it. COMMONNAME says we keep it as it is. — Dale Arnett (talk) 18:30, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per Renata's argument and WP:COMMONNAME Leijurv (talk) 18:43, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose As per WP:COMMONNAME. I do hope this proposal isn't motivated as a result of some people calling the current Corona virus the "Chinese Flu". The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 18:47, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose This has already been established history. Don't rewrite history for your selfish purposes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cody.TV.Weber (talkcontribs) 19:07, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support - The 1968 pandemic is not tiled "Hong Kong Flu", nor is the 2009 pandemic titled "Swine Flu", so why should this pandemic be an exception? "Spanish Flu" may have been a universal name 50 years ago, but today I can't find a single reference besides here on Wikipedia that uses "Spanish Flu" over "1918 FLu Pandemic" or "1918 Influenza Pandemic". — Preceding unsigned comment added by EPicmAx4 (talkcontribs) 19:21, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
I mean, this is obviously false. Here is a perfect example. (talk) 19:54, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose - The name Spanish flu is vastly more common than 1918 flu except in academic writing (see Renata above). Anyone who knows of the 1918 flu pandemic will also recognize the name Spanish flu. The converse is not true. People generally know things by a common name and check a reference work like wikipedia for the dates. The proposed change turns this on its head. The argument that the name is misleading does have merit, but it justifies adding clarification to the article (which has already been done); it doesn't justify changing the name in a way that harms wikipedia by making it more difficult to use. Misleading names need to be used when they're how something is most commonly known. An encyclopedia should explain the origin of the name, not substitute a lesser known alternative. see Russian dressing or Chinese checkers as examples. OckRaz talk 19:28, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Support The name "Spanish Flu" conveys an inaccurate attribution of origin, and contributes to the continuation of the inaccuracy. This is neither scientific nor encyclopedic. The title should conform to the latest knowledge. The common usage of earlier eras also belongs in the article, even at the top as an alternate name, and with a discussion about how it acquired that common name. But that should be the extent of it.Tmangray (talk) 19:37, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Vehemently Oppose - Zero reasons to change, other than to appease the most censorship prone government in the world. (talk) 19:41, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose in strongest possible terms - Per WP:COMMONNAME. juju (hajime! | waza) 21:10, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose vehemently, completely and totally Common name, revisionism, pandering to current events. Chaosdruid (talk) 21:27, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • The strongest oppose possible What are we going to do next, rename the Black Death because someone might think it may be offensive to black people? Someone Not Awful (talk) 22:15, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose: For all dozens of the reasons stated above. History books have and will continue to identify it as such, and the only argument in favor of changing it is to spare feelings (on s topic which Spaniards don’t even care about) TropicAces (talk) 22:32, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose: per WP:COMMONNAME. An alternative term, "1918 flu pandemic" is already mentioned in the lead. That is sufficient. Shellwood (talk) 23:18, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose: The names of historical events should not be changed to appease modern politically correct sensibilities. Biglulu (talk) 00:32, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose: The names of historical events should never be changed to appease modern politically correct activism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:03, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. See Google Ngram viewer for evidence – as of 2008 (the last year for which data is available), there were nearly three times as many references in books to “Spanish flu” or “Spanish influenza” as there were for “1918 flu” or “1918 influenza” (case-insensitive). Additionally, this article has already been assessed to be a Good Article under the current name, which would seem to be endorsement enough that it is correctly named. — Wulf (talk) 01:14, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support per d:Q178275#sitelinks-wikipedia where many other languages do not use this provably inaccurate discredited and arguably obsolete term. It's not because of "China Virus" either (which is actually accurate too, since China is unquestionably provably the origin of this latest coronavirus). If Spain was in fact the true and actual origin and maker of this 1918 flu virus, then I'd have no qualms at all in retaining the name "Spanish Flu". It would be accurate. But Spain was not the origin of it. Nor Spaniards. That's not even debatable. So why perpetuate the myth? The problem with the "common name" argument that so many give as their excuse for keeping a mythical term is that it puts tradition over truth, feelings over facts, myths over merits, and also it's not "common" at all in many other parts of the world, and even today many American and British historians use "1918 flu" instead. (talk) 02:20, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
"Common name" copout
This is the line constantly used (actually mis-used) to defend this mythical and nonsensical and counter-factual discredited term "Spanish Flu". I support the change for accuracy's sake, having ZERO to do with the current Chinese Flu. (Yes, I called it that.)
If Spain was in fact the actual origin of this 1918 flu virus, then I'd have no qualms at all in retaining the name "Spanish Flu". It would be accurate, regardless of "stigma". But Spain was not the origin of it. Nor Spaniards. That's not even debatable. So why perpetuate the myth?
The problem with the "common name" argument that so many give as their excuse for keeping a mythical term is that it puts tradition over truth, and as I pointed out, many other countries and languages do NOT use the false term "Spanish Flu". And even today many American and British historians, writers, and professors use "1918 flu" instead. Regards. (talk) 02:36, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
    • The "common name argument" is Wikipedia policy. WP:COMMONNAME Nor do labels used by languages other than English in this discussion matter. "Wikipedia does not necessarily use the subject's 'official' name as an article title; it generally prefers the name that is most commonly used (as determined by its prevalence in a significant majority of independent, reliable English-language sources)." Wikipedia has a "French fries" article, not a "Belgian fries," "fries," or "chips" article. This name is neither accurate nor universal, but it most common. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:28, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose The Spanish influenza has been called that for over 100 years. I'm 69 years old and until this past week have never heard the Spanish flu called the 1918 influenza pandemic except in articles explaining what the Spanish influenza was. The Spanish influenza was called that because it was the Spanish press that first publicized and alerted the public to its spread. This suggestion for changing the title seems, due to its timing, an Orwellian attempt to change history and remove reference to "Spanish flu" from Wikipedia for political reasons, i.e., to remove historical justification for calling the current influenza the Chinese flu or virus, as though different influenzas and other new communicable diseases have not historically been named according to their place of origin or (as with the Spanish flu) the country whose press first brought it the the public's attention. Other examples include Ebola (discovered near the Ebola River), MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), etc. Wikipedia has already been gaining a reputation as being policed by "woke" activists in several areas to ensure it reflects only "politically correct truth," and effecting this proposed change would be sure to be a well-publicized example in support of that assertion. Embram (talk) 05:18, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose What people called it back then should be the historic name of the event, and yes it was called the Spanish flu even if it did originate from the United States.--Caltraser55 (talk) 03:26, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. It is agreed that it probably didn't originate in Spain, but this is the most common name for the outbreak in reliable sources.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:23, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The existing, non-digital literature refers to Spanish Flu. Changing this for partisan reasons can only cause needless confusion for anyone trying to research the subject.Twospoonfuls (εἰπέ) 06:52, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

Oppose per common name and the frequency of that common name's use. This pandemic is near-universally known as the Spanish flu. Let's not give it a boilerplate replacement for that name. —General534 (talk) 09:13, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

  • Strongly Oppose renaming Spanish flu into something it was not is historical revisionism. By all possible metrics Spanish flu is a correct and universally known name in medical field as in the common use. Don't let a couple of organized extremist perpetuate a lie by claiming untruths .... I've read a lot of preposterous lies here that are not done in good faith. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Starnovi (talkcontribs) 11:03, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment: This name belongs to the politically motivated anglo-german black legend and his agenda. But this is the English wikipedia, so I guess it's normal for it to stay. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:40, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support move: English Wikipedia is a huge joke and English Wikipedians are absolute clueless dorks. WP:CommonName is a huge joke. I don't need to explain further.StorKnows (talk) 13:00, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. Spanish flu is the exceedingly well established WP:COMMONNAME. --Tataral (talk) 13:50, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. If the PC police manage to get this changed in enough sources, then, and only then should we follow suit.S Philbrick(Talk) 13:55, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This thread has degenerated into partisan name calling, which is unfortunate. There isn't anything particularly wrong with either term. All that should be relevant to us is that this is a reference encyclopedia, and most users know the 1918 pandemic as the "Spanish Flu" -- even though it has been known since 1918 that the "Spanish flu" did not originate in Spain. But names have never needed to be technically accurate, just widely known. If the editors decide to change the name, that would be OK as well, but I don't see a real reason for doing so. - AyaK (talk) 14:59, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose - common name. Even in the Twilight movie they use the "Spanish influeza" term. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Andrada00 (talkcontribs) (15:06, 21 March 2020)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. If "1918 influenza pandemic" sometime becomes as common a term as "Spanish flu" in the future, we can revisit renaming this article at a later date. But that hasn't happened yet. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 15:21, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose per WP:UCRN. If at some point in future the balance of the century-long base of WP:RS ceases to refer to it by its current name, then we can begin a discussion of whether to change the status quo. Until then, political correctness ought to have no place on Wikipedia. He dicho. () XavierItzm (talk) 15:35, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment to closer – I suggest that all !votes that attack other editors' motivations be discounted. O3000 (talk) 16:19, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. - DoubleCross (talk) 17:18, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Question: Does Wikipedia have any way to check whether editors responding on this issue may be working for or acting at the behest of a foreign government? Embram (talk) 17:25, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
It would not be the first time. See WP:DISINFORMATION. -- GreenC 19:41, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Weak Support My initial reaction was like many others, this is a Political Correctness thing bah! However very reliable sources show conflicting names, with the trend moving away from Spanish flu and towards "1918 <whatever>". When names are in flux it causes problems with COMMONNAME as old sources can over-weight an influence on current trends ie. what people today know it best by (we are most interested in). There might be some culture gaps, probably in the UK it is solidly Spanish Flu but North America trending to "1918". From this RfM it will take more time to settle but long term my bet is on the "1918" horse. -- GreenC 20:04, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose - This is a common name, and changing would be an example of revisionist history. Just because the virus did not originate in Spain does not mean that it is not the common term used. There are many historical reasons that it took on this name, but it is the primary term used for reference. As an Encyclopedia, Wikipedia should accurately reflect language, and not simply suit the whims of revisionists. — Preceding unsigned comment added by AlexanderMackle (talkcontribs) 20:45, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support - To quote Ckfasdf: "WP:COMMONNAME also said When there are multiple names for a subject, all of which are fairly common, and the most common has problems, it is perfectly reasonable to choose one of the others." History is inherently revisionist, and Wikipedia should use the best available of existing common names for an article. A misleading name like "Spanish flu" is simply inferior to "1918 influenza pandemic" on so many different levels, all of which others have already explained.--Wikibojopayne (talk) 22:15, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose for now - The common name at the time was Spanish flu. Usage of it then (for the most part) and today do not have anything to do with blaming Spain or Spanish people for the flu, as insinuated above. Even if it was, it is not a reason to change the name. We're not here to make people feel happy and unoffended. If history is offensive, which it is, we will present that as such. Also, our opinions on what people should refer to it as do not matter. That said, though (from my searching) the common name seems to be the Spanish flu, more politically correct versions (1819 influenza pandemic and it's derivations) are becoming more common, I would support moving it at a point when the common name is different. We want the title of the page to match what most of our readers refer to it as, though it really isn't a big deal. Best regards, Vermont (talk) 22:46, 21 March 2020 (UTC)


Please remember that Wikipedia is not a forum. WP:POLEMICs, missives, kvetches, and screeds about users' motives, alleged revisionism, pro/descriptive language, etc. are not appropriate here. EvergreenFir (talk) 00:30, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

But are you not making an assumption when you say "alleged" Revisionism? You're assuming that they're wrong when they allege such allegationsTheDarkMaster2 (talk) 12:11, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
Agreed that the use of "alleged" can be construed as a violation of WP:AGF. I, on the contrary, fully assume that those who argue that there is revisionism going on do so in perfectly good faith. Shame on those who do not. XavierItzm (talk) 15:41, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
Then shame on me. I am neutral on this and am not !voting. But, I see a very large number of newish editors making accusations against other editors of political motivation with no evidence. That is not how Wikipedia is supposed to work. O3000 (talk) 16:05, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
OK. XavierItzm (talk) 17:06, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
No, alleged means that there are claims and I am not in a position to determine their veracity. But I can say that accusing other editors of editing in bad faith needs to stop. EvergreenFir (talk) 18:04, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification, I believe that should have been in the original postTheDarkMaster2 (talk) 19:41, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
Hopefully you won't mind me adding another general FYI notice underneath, but can everyone here please stop going cowboy with the WP:SPA tags? Some of these tags haven't been in the spirit of assuming good faith; there have been plenty of people with accounts older than 2007 and hundreds of contributions within different topic areas that have been inappropriately marked as SPAs. I'm certain that the closing admin is no fool, and can easily figure out how to properly weigh the validity of these arguments while their decision is being made. --benlisquareTCE 07:08, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

Can we lay of the abf.Slatersteven (talk) 17:31, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Semi-protected edit request on 22 March 2020

Please change "three candidates have been proposed (in alphabetical order): China, United Kingdom, and United State (see section below)" to "three candidates have been proposed (in most to least possibility): United States, United Kingdom and China". Weihuil (talk) 02:49, 22 March 2020 (UTC)

 Not done Gain community consensus for this change first. This is likely a contentious change, given that the norm is to list countries alphabetically. --benlisquareTCE 06:35, 22 March 2020 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 March 2020

Please delete "This has led to speculation that the 1918 flu pandemic originated in China.[25][24][26][27] " as the hypothesis is based on a very weak and unreasonable assumption. Rosiesheen (talk) 04:21, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

What is wrong with the sources?Slatersteven (talk) 08:12, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

However we do mention China (and in effect repeat the same information) in two separate sections, why?Slatersteven (talk) 08:15, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

The takeout from all of this is that nobody really knows where the 1918 outbreak originated. China has been suggested, but it is a speculative theory as OP points out. This should be handled with caution to avoid giving a misleading impression.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 10:37, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
Er, maybe I am blind, but could you link to both locations? "Hypotheses about the source" should be the only section with speculation with citations as to where it the virus originated. --Super Goku V (talk) 20:04, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
I removed one.Slatersteven (talk) 09:07, 22 March 2020 (UTC)

General Sanctions - COVID 19

Please note that this article and its talk page are under general sanctions. EvergreenFir (talk) 00:22, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

@EvergreenFir: that's a massive stretch of the imagination, and unnecessary for this article. The Spanish flu was more than 100 years ago and not directly related to COVID-19 or the current pandemic.  — Amakuru (talk) 00:40, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
@Amakuru: I disagree that it's a "massive stretch of the imagination" that this article should come under the general sanctions of articles relating to COVID-19, broadly construed. It is the "broadly construed" which is important. Everyone right now is talking about the Spanish flu, what the prospects of COVID-19 causing similar devastation are, what we can learn from it, etc. The two pandemics are clearly linked in their importance to the public. BirdValiant (talk) 00:57, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
If that's your level of broadly construing then we might as well slap all medical articles under the hammer right away. That might possibly be a sensible idea, but is should be brought in by consensus, not by random tagging like this. There is no way this an be construed as part of the covid topic, broadly construed or otherwise. Its an entirely different disease.  — Amakuru (talk) 01:13, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
@Amakuru: The GS is for "COVID 19, broadly construed". Please go to WP:AN if you wish to have this reviewed. The edits being made here are in direct relation to the current pandemic and politicians' comments about it. EvergreenFir (talk) 01:20, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

Haha,so we’re repeating it.Repeating the history of evil maligning,the history of stigmatization.Do not use history as a shield,it is often just an airy figleaf. Deus Non Vult! Joseph Rangork (talk) 20:41, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

@Joseph Rangork: I have no idea of what you are trying to say or which side you are arguing for or against. Peaceray (talk) 22:56, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
@Peaceray: Basically, I suspect, it's yet another user who was recruited from somewhere else (active recruiting to influence opinion here is happening on Reddit), created an account, and tried to voice an opinion, but has no idea how to do so. Just look at the other sections of this talk page: there are comments left everywhere. It's probably just another one of those. BirdValiant (talk) 23:35, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
@BirdValiant: Joseph Rangork registered almost three years ago, but this was his first edit since he crated his user page. So you know, AGF ... Peaceray (talk) 00:02, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
@Peaceray: since you are actively reminding the people who are opposing the idea of renaming the flu to not answer without good faith on their talk page, I assume you have accidently forgotten to remind this user too. That is alright, so I thought I would notice you, that here this user suspects that a certain users might come from an external source - which regardless whether it is true or not - is certainly a violation of the good faith principle. @BirdValiant: It is important that we keep on Wikipedia a subjective and constructive discussion to stick to the good faith principle, that is why you shouldn't speculate whether a user comes from an external source or not, whether you like his opinion or not. Tensorproduct (talk) 12:17, 22 March 2020 (UTC)
I don't see a connection between these two outbreaks except the attempt to whitewash history to make the Chinese government happy.TheDarkMaster2 (talk) 11:58, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
The connections have been noted by User:BirdValiant and User:EvergreenFir. This section is not for making accusations and is instead noting that this article is under WP:GS unless changed, which gives admins more power do deal with editors who are not following the Wikipedia guidelines and policies on editing and on behavior. --Super Goku V (talk) 20:19, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
The "arguments" raised by BirdValiant and EvergreenFir are huge stretches of their own imaginations. Fully agree with TheDarkMaster2 and with Amakuru. XavierItzm (talk) 00:13, 22 March 2020 (UTC)
"Please go to WP:AN if you wish to have this reviewed." Here is a link. Until the review is done (and afterwards), please follow the guidelines and policies on editing and on behavior. --Super Goku V (talk) 03:04, 22 March 2020 (UTC)

Mortality Rate

Who changed the mortality rate? With an estimated 50 million deaths, a claim of 2% mortality would increase the world population from 1.8 billion to 2.5 billion.

Another estimate was 100 million deaths which implies 100% infection and a world population of 5 billion. The world population was 1.8 billion to 1.9 billion. Tazhawkeye (talk) 08:52, 11 March 2020 (UTC)

That was me. Both the WHO (the source I cited) and the CDC say the same thing. The WHO says the case fatality rate is 2-3% and the CDC says >2.5%
20% is far off the mark unless you use the most exceptional estimates of CFR
Estimates do vary but if we’re going to cite a mortality rate it should be the current officially accepted rate even if the numbers don’t add up from the various cited academic studies
Hutima (talk) 05:40, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

Confused wording and muddling of concepts: Spanish flu and the 1918 flu pandemic are not the same thing

The lede incorrectly says "The Spanish flu, also known as the 1918 flu pandemic..." This confuses two different concepts. It would be like saying that COVID-19 is also known as the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic or that swine flu is also known as the 2009 flu pandemic (which are correctly two different articles).

The wording should be changed to clarify that the 1918 flu pandemic was a pandemic of the disease called "Spanish flu", which was caused by particular strain(s) of H1N1. For comparison, here is the definition from the dictionary built into macOS, which correctly identifies the relationship between these terms: "Spanish flu: influenza caused by an influenza virus of type A, in particular that of the pandemic which began in 1918." The 1918 pandemic was a pandemic case of Spanish flu. Bueller 007 (talk) 04:21, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

That does make sense. The flu caused the pandemic it wasn’t the pandemic itself.-- (talk) 16:25, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
The Spanish flu may refer to the event.  We'll have to check sources.  Kolya Butternut (talk) 17:53, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
For comparison, here is the definition from the OED. Although the definition might be interpreted as defining "Spanish flu" as either the influenza or the pandemic, all of its example sentences (except possibly the second one) clearly use "Spanish influenza"/"Spanish flu" to refer to the disease rather than the pandemic:

Spanish influenza n. epidemic or pandemic influenza; spec. the pandemic of 1918–19, which was the most widespread and virulent of all known influenza outbreaks (to date); frequently attributive. [The 1918 pandemic is thought to have originated in the United States, but relatively early in its course was very severe in Spain. The pandemic of 1889–90 was commonly called Russian influenza.]

1890 Daily News (St. Paul, Minnesota) 5 Apr. 4/2 Mme. Emma Nevada has entirely recovered from her long attack of Spanish influenza.

1918 Times 25 June 9/4 Everybody thinks of it as the ‘Spanish’ influenza today.

1953 Trans. Royal Soc. Trop. Med. & Hygiene 47 442 The so-called Spanish influenza had been unduly prevalent in Europe during the spring and early summer of 1918, spreading along lines of communication from western Europe to most parts of the world.

2005 BBC Focus Dec. 5/4 He has published 250 scientific papers, with his main interest being the pathogenicity of influenza, in particular the 1918 Spanish Influenza strain.

Spanish flu n. = Spanish influenza n.

1918 W. Owen Let. 24 June (1967) 560 About 30 officers are smitten with the Spanish Flu.

1937 K. Blixen Out of Afr. ii. v. 161 When we had the Spanish Flu on the farm, Farah was..shivering with fever.

1979 D. Williams Genesis & Exodus xi. 213 Those who had survived 1914–18 and the plague of Spanish flu that followed.

2013 Australian (Nexis) 12 Nov. 11 Don Watson's grandfather was twice wounded in Flanders after being infected with Spanish flu.

While "The Spanish Flu" might sometimes refer to the pandemic, the writing of this article would be clarified quite a bit by using "Spanish flu" to refer to the disease itself and "1918 flu pandemic" to refer to the Spanish flu pandemic. This would also be consistent with COVID-19 vs. 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic, swine flu vs. 2009 flu pandemic, ebola vs. Kivu Ebola epidemic, etc., etc. Bueller 007 (talk) 01:27, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

Russian death toll

It's suggested that the total of 450,000 represented 0.2 % of the Russian population. This would imply that the Russia ( I forget what it was called it was pre USSR ) of the time had a population of over 200 million which I find questionable. This is cited in citation 60.

Can anyone certify this ? Frondophila (talk) 10:33, 18 March 2020 (UTC)

User:Frondophila, the Russian Empire article suggests that it is likely close to the truth. --Super Goku V (talk) 09:56, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 24 March 2020

The section Deadly Second Wave currently says (para 1) that "The first wave had resembled typical flu epidemics; those most at risk were the sick and elderly, while younger, healthier people recovered easily" whereas in the second wave (para 4), "the most vulnerable people were those like the soldiers in the trenches – adults who were young and fit".

However, the study referenced in the fourth paragraph of that section (cite note 94) contradicts this. According to figures in Table 2 of that paper, the first wave (which came in early summer) also primarily attacked the young and fit; the second wave was much deadlier but did in fact attack the same demographic.

Could somebody change this, please. Malcolm Ramsay (talk) 12:23, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

Spain death toll?

I noticed that the "Mortality" section of this article does not provide any estimates for Spain. While the lede indicates that, contrary to popular belief at the time, Spain was not "especially hard hit," this still seems like a major omission. Furthermore, while I haven't yet been able to look into this with scholarly sources, I have heard that millions died in Spain and am wondering if that is accurate; if it is accurate, then it would seem that Spain was hit much harder than comparable European countries such as neighboring France. Does anyone have any reliable figures on hand?TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 16:28, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

1918 flu, not Spanish flu

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

It is well established today that this flu was neither originated nor particularly spread in Spain. Furthermore, it is also well established that naming pandemias after regions is misleading (from a mechanistic point of view) and also stigmatizing. Why not having then the official name 1918 flu as the primary article name which other names redirect to? Gaianauta (talk) 18:23, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

It was widely documented in Spain, that si why it was named that. Are you suggesting that teh flu gets renamed by the regionthat it came from? No, this is history revisionism. It does not matter if you like the name or not, the name of the virus was Spanish Flu. Changing things just because you dislike them is a horrible practice and a form of censorship.--Thronedrei (talk) 23:11, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
I think a rename to 1918 flu pandemic with a redirect from "Spanish flu" makes sense for the reasons Gaianauta states. A search returns lots of hits on it, such as [

m the CDC],, Britannica, CBS, and so on. Schazjmd (talk) 18:44, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

From a professional and historic point of view, I concur with the need to change the name of the article, and have associated redirects from "Spanish Flu" and possibly others, including Disambiguation notes for "H1N1 Flu" separating out the 1918 and 2009 events, on all three pages. DocKrin (talk) 23:47, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

It's obvious that we should not change the name. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:08, 17 March 2020 (UTC) The colloquial name is the Spanish Flu, no amount of editing will change that. Maybe having the two terms coexist isn't the worst idea but removing one altogether is a bit ridiculous. (talk) 20:02, 17 March 2020 (UTC) That not a single one of the links provided fails to mention the Spanish flu prior to or few words after "1918 flu" would suggest it is very revisionist to remove the name. Its not the job of Wikipedia to make judgement calls on what is most professional or destigmatizing, the Spanish Flu is and was the colloquial name for the worst pandemic in history. Abovfold (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:54, 17 March 2020 (UTC)

This is ridiculous you cannot go back in time and change an event to make it more "politically correct" or ""Destimafizing" Naming a disease after a place is a perfectly valid practice. Will you ask for The Spanish painted frog to have it's name changed because it might offend someone that the frog is named after the region it is found.TheDarkMaster2 (talk) 01:32, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
"1918 influenza pandemic" It is not only the official name, it is also the least misleading, and it is widely used. [9]Gaianauta (talk) 09:48, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
Please check the World Health Organisation guidelines: "Terms that should be avoided in disease names include geographic locations (e.g. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Spanish Flu)" [10] Gaianauta (talk) 10:01, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
The guidelines you've linked are for naming new diseases and do not proscribe the continued usage of "Spanish flu." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Die Pillen in mir (talkcontribs)

History isnt perfect, but progressives can change that! (talk) 12:52, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

"Spanish Flu" vs "1918 flu pandemic" Ngram [3]
WP:COMMONNAME people. Wikipedia's job is to describe the world as it is, not to edit the reality to match Wikipedia articles as worded to editor's liking. Ngram is a source biased towards academic language and even there it appears "Spanish Flu" is over 6x as common.
I think that Schazjmd has the right of it here. While it is true that the Spanish Flu is the more common term, there are lots of terms that have been used historically, but are actually ethically or factually , like "eskimo" for instance. I think that moving away from that term is a good idea, so the first step towards that is to retain the term, "Spanish Flu" to forward to "1918 Influenza (or Flu) Pandemic". Seeing as the nomenclature originated as a propaganda term for an illness that - by several accounts - originated in Kansas, we do have a responsibility to utilize those sources that point this out, and adapt accordingly.

Thoughts? - Jack Sebastian (talk) 17:14, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

Thanks, Jack Sebastian, but there was a requested move (see below) that was very contentious. The decision was to not change the name. Schazjmd (talk) 17:18, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
Well, darn. Sorry I wasn't here earlier,Schazjmd. I've looked over some of the arguments presented, and they seemed (imo) rather short-sighted. But consensus spoke. It will probably get challenged again, as time goes on. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 17:50, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Semi-protected edit request on 16 March 2020

Change "Infectious diseases already limited life expectancy in the early 20th century, but life expectancy in the United States dropped by about 12 years in the first year of the pandemic.[6][7][8]" to include some reference to the confounding influence to this statistic of the U.S. formally entering WWI in April 1917 and deploying troops in summer 1918. This sentence as written is wildly misleading, as WWI surely had more impact on the U.S. life expectancy drop than the Spanish Flu did. Anon0192837465 (talk) 19:38, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

 Not done. That seems pretty reasonable, but edit requests must be precise and must supply sources to support any claims, if applicable. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 19:45, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
 Partly done. On second thought, I went ahead and removed the statement about life expectancy altogether. It's a less useful statistic than simple mortality rate and such, and as pointed out above, it has the added disadvantage of being especially misleading when there was another major, concurrent cause of death among the young. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 20:15, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps surprisingly, the Spanish Flu did indeed have a greater impact on US life expectancy than WWI did; the biggest impact of WWI on US life expectancy in 1918 was to facilitate the spread of the pandemic. (talk) 18:15, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
WP:NOTFORUM and keep the debate to one area EvergreenFir (talk) 18:42, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

As an encyclopaedia, the proper response should be to use historical names, regardless of current political climate. Why should a single source report a different name of something or someone completely out of the context of historical usage. It is Wikipedia's mission to document information and historical events, not edit them or censor them. Lawrecenull (talk) 02:04, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

Well why dont we just call it "china flu"? Sont allow the Communists in china to change history! The traitors to freedom on this planet. The corrupt politicians will all find a "Special place" in hell for them! Chinalies (talk) 01:40, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

Spanish flu is an accurate and appropriate name for the disease

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

In 1918 the entire world came to know about this new flu epidemic because of news from Spain, a neutral country that was not associated with either allies or enemies. Since the belligerents censored news of what was happening in their own countries, the world relied on reports from Spain, which apparently were reasonably accurate and unbiased about the characteristics of the flu. In that regard, Spanish flu is a perfectly appropriate and historically accurate name, in my opinion. The NY TIMES gave a major full-page story to "Spanish Influenza" Sept 22, 1918 p 37. TIMES also reported when King Alfonso of Spain was sick with the Spanish flu on Oct 4, 1918 -- he recovered. Rjensen (talk) 14:00, 18 March 2020 (UTC)

Exactly, it is not inaccurate or bigoted to use this name again, will other animals be given the same treatment.TheDarkMaster2 (talk) 15:47, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
The New York Times story is online here at File:NY Times "Spanish Influenza" Sep-22-1918.pdf Rjensen (talk) 19:37, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
The argument is not that Spanish flu is not a usable name for the flu; it's just that it doesn't seem to be the best one. I'm sure if you look at New York Times articles from the same time, they'll talk about the "Great War"; however, Wikipedia's article on that topic is titled World War I. Naming conventions change as the world's perception of events changes. No one is arguing that the name "Spanish flu" should be entirely purged from the page; this discussion is just about what should be in big text at the very top. –IagoQnsi (talk) 04:06, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
You must be very naive to think there are not political motivations for this sudden change.TheDarkMaster2 (talk) 11:34, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
WP:NPA. –IagoQnsi (talk) 23:18, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
Following your argumentation, one would have to change a lot of other names too, like Ebola, Persian plague, plague of Justinian and so on. I think it is important to mention that the flu's name is incorrect, but we should not omit the name by which nearly all people know the flu. This would only resulting in confusion & concealment, defeating the whole idea and purpose of an encyclopedia. Tensorproduct (talk) 10:19, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
Exactly this is probably the first of many attempts to change names, for less than scientific mannerisms. But I do not assume these things, I am merely stating it is ok to name organism after places.TheDarkMaster2 (talk) 11:55, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
Disagree. Please check the World Health Organisation guidelines: "Terms that should be avoided in disease names include geographic locations (e.g. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Spanish Flu)" [11]. "Spanish Flu" is not just incorrect: it is also misleading and stigmatising. Gaianauta (talk) 10:08, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
Disagree no one is stigmatized by the term Spanish FLu in the current day. That is simply incorrect. You could perhaps make this argument about Coronvirus (Or Wuhan Flu). But that cannot be retroactively said about the Spanish FlueTheDarkMaster2 (talk) 11:55, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
The guidelines you've linked are for naming new diseases and do not proscribe the continued usage of "Spanish flu." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Die Pillen in mir (talkcontribs)
Exactly, no relevance at all to past diseasesTheDarkMaster2 (talk) 11:19, 22 March 2020 (UTC)

Using The Great War as evidence to support the name change of the Spanish Flu is ignorant of the fact that the Spanish Flu is still the dominant used term, not just in the past but in the present (see citations of Google data in regards to searches for "Spanish Flu" instead of "1918 _____ Pandemic" or similar searches). I just wonder if the same rules apply to the name "Ebola virus" which is named after the Ebola river. The vote to change the name had heavy opposition, it's counterproductive to continue talking about it until it goes in the opposite favor. Respect the fact that the majority were against the name change and move on. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 22 March 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Origin of the name Spanish Flu

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The name Spanish Flu came about because at the time the Allies and the Central Powers, which is another way of saying totalitarian, decided to suppress news of the spreading lethal influenza (sounds familiar?) for their own purposes, including not having to answer questions. However, the Spanish were neutral in World War I and were free to discuss the epidemic in their press. Their news spread and soon people were discussing it and they called it the Spanish Flu. It shows what a free government and free press can accomplish and how the press can be suppressed by a government with lots to hide. If I were Spanish, I'd be proud to have this influenza named after my country because it shows the Spanish did the right thing in letting the world know a deadly virus was headed their way. In addition, the Spanish king contracted the flu, that news spread, too. That is what convinced people the origin was Spain, but the real truth was only Spain dared print the truth. Well done, the Spanish. They've earned the right. Changing it now is just another form of censorship. Unless Wikipedia is now under the thumb of the corrupt Chinese totalitarian communist regime, I see no reason to change this article's name. Ever. Bodding (talk) 03:08, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

@Bodding: you'll need reliable sources to back up claims. And please dial down the polemics. EvergreenFir (talk) 04:29, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
@EvergreenFir: no problem on getting sources or dialing down. Thx. Bodding (talk) 22:21, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

Heavily Oppose Spanish Flu is the historical name and common name. Changing it to 1918 influenza will do nothing.

We can keep covid-19, but everyone everywhere knows its Wuhan Coronavirus. This is the Chinese term for it.

It is forever and indelibly linked to China. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:00, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

We do not need two threads on the same topic,. please comment in the thread above about moving the article.Slatersteven (talk) 17:06, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
Section header disabled as such. El_C 17:39, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Removal or edit of mention of Chinese medicine use

The section Less-affected_areas mentions "Some researchers have proposed that traditional Chinese medicine may have played a role in the low influenza mortality rate in China."

Given the lack of general scientific evidence that traditional Chinese medicine works, as described at Traditional_Chinese_medicine, the fact that there is only a link to a single study which presents this conclusion, and the authors come from "Institute of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong" which presents some possible bias, I find this sentence to be misleading.

I propose that this sentence is deleted. AToftegaard (talk) 12:29, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

I'd second that recommendation. It is anecdotal information at best, unsupported by multiple, reliable sources. If it were accurate or not a fringe view, other, far more reliable sources would have picked up on this over the years. That there is but one source would seem to reveal a weakness in the noted source's claims. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 17:17, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
Agree, better to delete.Andrewgprout (talk) 18:41, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
Thanks guys! Just realized that a similar statement is found at "However, a study by K.F. Cheng and P.C. Leung in 2006 has suggested it was more likely because the traditional Chinese medicine played an important role in prevention and treatment." For consistency, that should probably also be deleted AToftegaard (talk) 09:40, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

National Geographic article, with excellent graphs

The following Nat Geo article has a lot of information, including comparative graphs of different cities having different timing of social distancing measures:
"How some cities ‘flattened the curve’ during the 1918 flu pandemic"

Active editors on this page may want to consider. —RCraig09 (talk) 22:16, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

First reported

It was first reported in Fort Riley, Kansas. Change it in the info tab — Preceding unsigned comment added by Niskka (talkcontribs) 10:51, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

The Spanish flu is named "Spanish" because it was first publicly reported there. History now tells us that outbreaks happened earlier for sure, but facts are so murky that we cannot pinpoint the first outbreak with certainty. Agathoclea (talk) 11:00, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Traditional Chinese medicine

In the section on China as a potential origin of the disease we currently say

However, a study by K.F. Cheng and P.C. Leung in 2006 has suggested it was more likely because the traditional Chinese medicine played an important role in prevention and treatment.[TCm 1]

The source of this statement appears reliable, which is why I find it highly unlikely that a paper in a reputable journal would credit Traditional Chinese medicine (which is basically a pseudo-science) with being an effective treatment to the Spanish flu. Can someone with access to the article check that? If it does indeed make this rather extraordinary claim, it is further worth considering whether this information is wp:due or whether anyone else has challenged the conclusion (because I'm sure the majority of the medical community does not believe that traditional Chinese medicine stopped the Spanish Flu).--Ermenrich (talk) 13:42, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

See the section Talk:Spanish_flu#Removal_or_edit_of_mention_of_Chinese_medicine_use above. Anyway, this should go as discussed unless it has multiple third party reliable sources, per WP:MEDRS.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:20, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
Oops, should've checked the talk page. Anyway, definitely should be removed.--Ermenrich (talk) 16:23, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Section references

  1. ^ Cheng, K.F. "What happened in China during the 1918 influenza pandemic?". International Journal of Infectious Diseases. Volume 11, Issue 4, July 2007: 360–364. Archived from the original on 5 December 2019. Retrieved 5 March 2020. {{cite journal}}: |volume= has extra text (help)

Charts showing effects of social distancing in the US 1918 flu pandemic

I have uploaded 4 variations on the same chart (.png & .jpg, with & without supporting data) depicting the effects & timing of social distancing, each having with Weekly excess flu death rates per 100,000 for 4 US cities final 16 weeks of 1918 in the title. They depict rates for the cities of Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, & Seattle. They are in commons:Category:Spanish flu in the United States charts. I am going to leave it to other editors as to where & whether to place them or not.

I think the biggest take away of the chart is to avoid a big parade at the start of a pandemic.

Peaceray (talk) 16:30, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Deaths in India

Deaths in India numbers don't make a lot of sense when you compare them with recent estimates of total deaths. Doug Weller talk 20:15, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 4 April 2020

Hello, I'm not sure if I'm at the right "spot"... Re.: "Spanish flu": I believe we are talking about VIRUS not "bacterial superinfection" (you can do a "search" (you'll get one "hit" only! See: (talk) 22:27, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

 Not done: You're in the right spot, but the "bacterial superinfections" is correct. See, for example, EvergreenFir (talk) 22:31, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

Nursing in a sitting position to prevent hypostatic pneumonia

Every photo I have seen of hospital care for Spanish flu victims shows a flat bed with maximum 2 pillows, and many patients flat on their backs.

Hypostatic pneumonia is a fatal type of pneumonia caused exactly by this, lying in a flat position with inadequate natural drainage of the lungs, especially in a patient with weakened shallow breathing. This results in build up of fluid which then becomes infected resulting in the illness.

References are easy to find. [1]

I entered nursing in 1972 and by then the dangers of hypostatic pneumonia were recognized and we were taught to nurse bed ridden patients in a seated position, either by mechanically raising the head of the bed or by adding pillows in an armchair shape, combined with intensive physical therapy. The ideal being to get the patient out of bed "nursed in chair" as soon as possible and for as long as possible in any case.

I can find no mention of this factor in contributing to the fatality of the Spanish flu. Neither is there an entry for hypostatic pneumonia on the Wikipedia pneumonia page.

Any suggestions for the best way to bring this to public attention via Wikipedia?Jiver2 (talk) 12:36, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

It really comes down to if you have good sources that say Hypostatic Pneumonia was a factor in the fatality of the Spanish Flu. While your years of nursing may make it seem obvious to you that this is a simple 1+1=2, You doing that math here and then documenting it violates WP:NOR. Your experience in nursing though should help you vet good sources that back this claim up though. (talk) 19:02, 9 April 2020 (UTC)

Google discrepancy

If you look this up on Google, the preview says “First Reported in Spain.” Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 13 Nisan 5780 15:25, 7 April 2020 (UTC)

You're quite right, here is a screenshot from Google Search, which is apparently quoting the infobox of the Wikipedia article. This sort of thing has happened before, and it is hard to guarantee how Wikipedia articles will appear in external search engine results. Possibly this is taken from an older version of the article.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:22, 7 April 2020 (UTC)
  • It looks as though the "first reported" field in the infobox was changed from Spain to United States in this edit on 31 March 2020. Is everyone happy about this?--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:30, 7 April 2020 (UTC)
I think the question comes down to what does “first reported” mean in this case. For political reasons Spain was the first country to publicly acknowledge and “report” it, but as historians and virologists have looked back they seem to have formed a consensus the mutation originated in the US74.140.215.175 (talk) 18:37, 9 April 2020 (UTC)
I thought about this mores and saw that it wasn’t nearly a large of consensus saying it originated in the US despite what people have been saying in this talk page, and considering there is a “first outbreak” field which may or may not be appropriate as US, I think Spain is the correct for first reported as again, that’s where they were first “allowed” to be reported. That said, considering it has such a murky start as already identified in the article, could “Unknown” be appropriate? (talk) 20:25, 9 April 2020 (UTC)

Origin of the Spanish Flu

I searched for the flu and got the 1918 Flu pandemic via Siri knowledge. The summary page shows the origin as the USA. Wikipedia says the origin is unknown. How does one go about correcting Siri Knowledge? Sloanish (talk) 14:01, 10 April 2020 (UTC)

This is similar to the section "Google discrepancy" above. If the truth be told, there is no overwhelming consensus on the first country to have an outbreak of this type of flu, so different sources may say different things. Siri is made by Apple, so Wikipedia cannot do anything about the replies that it gives to questions.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:21, 10 April 2020 (UTC)
  • The article in Britannica is called "Influenza pandemic of 1918–19" and says "it remains uncertain where the virus first emerged". In view of this and the wording in the Wikipedia article, I have removed the United States from the "first reported" field of the infobox. This isn't supported by the article text, because it is only one of the theories about where it originated.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:28, 10 April 2020 (UTC)

Not the second deadliest

I have added citation needed tag to lede statement "making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, behind the Black Death.", as it contradicts with death toll depicted in Plague of Justinian. Is there any reliable source comparing the three critically? Capankajsmilyo(Talk | Infobox assistance) 04:24, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

The death toll of the Plague of Justinian given by historians is largely speculative and an estimate, and this is also true of the Black Death. This makes an exact comparison in the style of Guinness World Records difficult. "Deadliest" as a percentage of the population killed probably makes the Plague of Justinian and the Black Death more deadly than Spanish flu, as they are reckoned to have killed anything between a third and a half of the population of Europe at the time. By contrast, the death rate of Spanish flu is given as around 3%.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:32, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
Then call it should be called the deadliest of the modern era.--Fruitloop11 (talk) 11:37, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
I've tried to avoid WP:OR by sticking to this source. I don't think we are ever going to have a satisfactory Billboard chart of the deadliest pandemics, because the figures for the death tolls of the Plague of Justinian, the Black Death and Spanish flu are all estimates. The phrase "modern era" is somewhat vague and open to various definitions leading to problems with WP:RELTIME, and needs further explanation which is not given in the Washington Post source.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:20, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

Suggesting a name change.

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I suggest that the title of this article be changed to "1918 Influenza Pandemic" or "1918 Flu Pandemic" as "Spanish Flu" is a very informal name and has the potential to carry false implications with it, something I don't think I've seen on any other Wikipedia article. Even the opening line says "1918 Influenza Pandemic" and specifically denotes "Spanish Flu" as a nickname for the event. I just find it weird that this article would be titled "Spanish Flu" and not say one of the titles I suggested or something. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:18, 2 February 2020 (UTC)

So do you want to rename the Ebola virus as well?--Thronedrei (talk) 23:15, 19 March 2020 (UTC)
I'd disagree. "Spanish flu" is the name it's generally known by; encyclopaedias are supposed to be descriptive rather than prescriptive, and I'm unconvinced that there would be a net gain by obfuscating a long-recognised name. --Vometia (talk) 17:01, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
The revisionist minded Liberal-left should really leave this topic alone. Wikipedia should impose some restrictions on politically motivated editing. For a hundred years the "Spanish Flu" has been known as the "Spanish Flu" and it should be simply left alone, for reasons of maintaining historical consistency and avoiding confusion, if nothing else. Who is behind these recent name change requests anyway ? What is clear is that the current pandemic should be named the "Wuhan Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Virus" so it will be clear to students of history where it came from and who was responsible for it. Nathan Detroit (talk) 09:05, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

You could always redirect people to "1918 Flu Pandemic" but it's much better to head the article with an outright lie, I guess. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:26, 23 February 2020 (UTC)

Even the first line says that is a colloquial name. Just take the example of the 'Asian flu': Jesusinacka (talk) 09:29, 6 March 2020 (UTC)

I hope you keep it the same. Historically, there has been no request to change the page on Wikipedia until recently, which I personally don't feel is coincidental. Personal beliefs aside, many viruses have been given names that are significant to regions of the world, or have been named after animals. ex.) African Trypanosomiasis — see Sleeping Sickness, West Nile Virus Infection (WNV Infection), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) [Nairovirus Infection], RMSF (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever), Raccoon Roundworm Infection [Baylisascaris Infection], Rift Valley Fever (RVF), Mad Cow Disease (BSE) — see Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) Vaccination, Jamestown Canyon Virus Infection, Influenza, Avian — see Avian Influenza, Influenza in Pigs — see Swine Influenza, Flea-borne (Murine) Typhus — see Typhus Fevers, Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)--Named after the Ebola River, etc., Canine Flu, etc. It's fair to say that perhaps it is only a colloquial name, though it already says that. Renaming it may only cause confusion when the majority of trusted sources use the colloquial name. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:16, 17 March 2020 (UTC)

The fact that "Spanish Flu" has been ubiquitous as the name of this epidemic means a name change will cause confusion and make the information less accessible. The desire to eliminate "Spanish" to show consistency with the name of the 2020 Covid-19 epidemic (as opposed to the so-called "China virus") is not useful and will contribute nothing in the area of clarity or accessibility. Fmanci (talk) 03:30, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

This request just up and happened, out of the blue! No. It is clearly alluding to a contemporary POLITICAL scuffle initiated by those receptive to the propaganda being generated by the Communist Party of China in relation the the Chinese Virus. The virus from the nation of China that is killing 1000's of people because of what happened in Wuhan, China. This is soviet style revisionism. EVERYONE that I know, and have known for decades has referred to the Spanish Flu just as that, The Spanish Flu. Don't bother trying to torture a fake reason for the name change of tis article, we all know why it was brought up, now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:52, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

Agreed with the previous two posters. This is a politically inspired request for change that would cause historical confusion and inconsistency. Are there requests to change all the names of viral epidemics based on location of origin or greatest disaster (i.e., West Nile, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, Ebola, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Norovirus, Zika, German Measles, Legionnaire’s Disease)? Jemusser (talk) 06:08, 21 March 2020 (UTC)

COVID-19 should be renamed to chinese flu, it is important to point out the geographic location of a virus and the people who are responsible for spreading it.

Please check the World Health Organisation guidelines: "Terms that should be avoided in disease names include geographic locations (e.g. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Spanish Flu)" [12]. "Spanish Flu" is not just incorrect: it is also misleading and stigmatising. Gaianauta (talk) 10:07, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
The guidelines you've linked are for naming new diseases and do not proscribe the continued usage of "Spanish flu." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Die Pillen in mir (talkcontribs)

Support name change. This flu didn't start in Spain, it started in Kansas. To call it Spanish Flu despite that is to knowingly spread misinformation, to say nothing about the WHO guidelines the previous poster mentioned. Just because it's "known as" Spanish Flu doesn't mean we need to keep peddling that misinformation. (Note, syphilis used to be called "French Pox") Jade Phoenix Pence (talk) 17:03, 21 March 2020 (UTC)Jade Phoenix Pence

Object to name change. Renaming the article to fit a political correctness agenda, after the term has been in the common vernacular for over a century, is tantamount to historical revisionism. What's next, renaming the french fries article, just because they weren't invented in France? Renaming the Panama hat article? I say no. EJSawyer (talk) 01:24, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

Object to name change; new naming guidelines by an organisation that didn't exist at the time of this pandemic shouldn't overwrite the historical context of over 100 years ago. Thankfully this has already been decided. MeanMotherJr (talk) 01:15, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

Support name change. The chauvinism in the United Statesians' responses is, as always, very scary. They have their own political agenda, hidden now behind an alert of a Chinese-agenda banner. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cusano (talkcontribs) 18:27, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

Support name change. Any Spanish speaker is unaware that it's called this in English and it's long been misleading as to the original source which may be convenient to Kansas, but is completely inaccurate. "AKA Spanish Flu" can always be listed in the intro. And the "This is how it's been known" argument never holds water as there are countless ethnic names that were common and derogatory that have fallen out of use to cite but one example. Should have never been called "Spanish flu" to start with as this was based upon bad historical information. Now is the chance to fix that. Primecoordinator (talk) 18:35, 28 March 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
Commentary on this issue from April 2020 by American cultural icon Bill Maher: [13] Geographyinitiative (talk) 00:07, 12 April 2020 (UTC)
Discussion continues at #It is not too soon to re-discuss a name change

Semi-protected edit request on 11 April 2020

Spanish flu is inaccurate it came from any Army base in Kansas. Please change the page name to Kansas flu. (talk) 20:01, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

 Not done. We go by the WP:COMMONNAME on Wikipedia. El_C 20:07, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
See also the most recent discussion at Talk:Spanish_flu/Archive_3#Requested_move_15_March_2020. "Kansas flu" is not even remotely a COMMONNAME, and although it may have originated in the USA, nobody really knows.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 20:52, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

I would bet he's being factitious, but your citation of WP:COMMONNAME brings up a relevant statement that "[w]hen there are multiple names for a subject, all of which are fairly common, and the most common has problems, it is perfectly reasonable to choose one of the others." Following the WP:COMMONNAME guidance the common but problematic "Spanish flu" for the common and less problematic "1918 flu pandemic". Even if one ignores the inaccuracy of the current page name, that it is titled as though it's a type of flu (e.g. Swine flu) rather than an event (e.g. 2009 Swine flu pandemic) is even more problematic, especially considering both pandemics are the same type of flu (A/H1N1). It's like having a page named Cougar, and another page named Mountain lion that contained the Washington cougar attack. The page should at a bare minimum be titled either "Spanish flu pandemic" or better "1918 Spanish flu pandemic", even if both are still problematic. Nebes (talk) 05:27, 13 April 2020 (UTC)

Serious problem with Spanish flu article?

Seems there may be a serious problem with the Wikipedia Spanish flu article according to recent news.[1]

An earlier entry, apparently correct, was changed to one that may not have been correct (on February 22, 2020). Earlier and Current edit => It is estimated that one third of the global population was infected,[2] and the World Health Organization estimates that 2–3% of those who were infected died (case-fatality ratio).[3][failed verification]

I tried to restore the apparently incorrect entry to one that was correct - and this time with several updated references - as follows: New edit => The global mortality rate from the 1918–1919 pandemic is not known, but an estimated 10% to 20% of those who were infected died (case-fatality ratio).[4][5] About a third of the world population was infected, and something between 1% and 5.6% of the entire global population of over 1800 million[6] died.[2]

However - my edit was reverted and a discussion requested.

If interested - some of my own thinking about this Spanish flu information:

Fatalities (est) = as high as 100 million.[7][8]

Infected (est) = 620 million ("one-third" of world population).[9]

I agree that it should say one-third of the population, not a quarter of the population. The source articles referenced [Taubenberger and Morens, 2006] state one-third. The CDC states one-third, and even the author of Nancy Bistow (whose presentation is linked in this wikipedia entry) states one-third. Zitap123 (talk) 06:34, 13 April 2020 (UTC)

World population 1920 = 1,860 million.[10]

Case-fatality ratio (CFR) => 2.5%.[4][5]

This CFR may be much too low according to others.[4][5]

My own calculation => Case-Fatalities Ratio = 100 million/620 million = 16% CFR

Comments Welcome from other Editors - Thanks. Drbogdan (talk) 15:07, 11 March 2020 (UTC)

Reference 1 isn't "news"; it's a batshit-insane conspiracy theory website. That being said, the 2-3% figure really is problematic; however, there's considerable variation in sources about the actual death toll and number of cases. There are a couple approaches here: decide on the best sources and 1) give ranges for each sourced to the lot; 2) give a list of pairs of numbers so as not to commingle a low death toll with a high number of cases (or vice-versa). In either case, calculation of the fatality rate is a trivial matter at that point. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 15:18, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
A follow up article by the same writer explains how the wrong figure of 2.5% was obtained.[1] Firstly she makes the obvious point that “a death-rate of 50-100 million and a CFR of 2.5% can’t co-exist” based on the world population at the time. She says “ A recent Twitter thread by Ferres Jabr, a science writer for the NYT magazine, does a lot to expose how the two twisted and irreconcilable stats – 50-100 million dead and a CFR of 2.5% originally came about“. In summary:

But in 2002 a new study corrected the lacuna in non-Western cases and produced the estimate of worldwide deaths we are familiar with now – 50-100 million. This meant the CFR was no longer 2.5% but now 10-20% of total estimated cases. Then a later study, from 2006, used these updated fatality figures, but omitted to update the CFR, citing it as still 2.5%. Which meant it was offering the impossible and contradictory number recently adopted by Wikipedia.

Burrobert (talk) 23:02, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
Is anyone going to attempt to fix the error? I haven’t been watching the page long enough to know its history including the reason for using that death rate. I suggest removing mention of the death rate until a sensible figure can be found. Any ideas? Burrobert (talk) 10:33, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
 Done @Burrobert: added following edit summary => "rm questionable text/refs per suggestion on talk at => Talk:Spanish flu#Serious problem with Spanish flu article? - at least until better text/refs are determined." - hope that's now ok - please comment if otherwise of course - Thanks. Drbogdan (talk) 13:20, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
excellent thanks Drbogdan.Burrobert (talk) 16:24, 12 March 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ Black, Catte (11March 2020). "Guardian uses misleading data to imply COVID worse than Spanish Flu". Off Guardian. Retrieved 11 March 2020. {{cite news}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)

The disease has been called this for many years and any attempt to change it would be historical revisionism. Isothermic (talk) 17:43, 18 March 2020 (UTC)

I changed the rate because it conflicts with official sources. Specifically I originally changed it to the WHO cited figure of 2-3% in an edit on 2/22
That number specifically comes from this source_ https [1]
Which is an WHO document about pandemic preparedness. That document cites the European CDC here: [2]
The CDC just says >2.5% : [3]
Ultimately each analysis is drastically different, even among the sources cited in the current article
Case in point this article: [4]
At the first book listed has the higher end estimate of 50 million dead in the introduction but the next has “The 1918–1919 influenza pandemic killed 20 million people” and the article after that has “The 1918 influenza pandemic killed an estimated 20–50 million people”
Ultimately I am of the opinion that if we are to list a fatalistic rate, which we should, we should go with the official WHO accepted value of 20-50 million and 2-3% CFR or the CDC of 50-100 million and >2.5% and indicate that estimates do vary
There is no estimate however that has 20% as was originally listed in the article. I will vigorously protest any such inaccurately large CFR. The 1918 pandemic was no Black Death
Hutima (talk) 06:16, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
And upon further research through my university library [1] has this quotation: "Further research has seen the consistent upward revision of the estimated global mortality of the pandemic, which a 1920s calculation put in the vicinity of 21.5 million. A 1991 paper revised the mortality as being `in the range 24.7–39.3 million. This paper suggests that it was of the order of 50 million. However, it must be acknowledged that even this vast figure may be substantially lower than the real toll, perhaps as much as 100 percent understated." So the range of cases is 20 to 100 million as was already established from the various sources. At 20 million, a 2.5% CFR is possible and that is probably why the CDC says the rate is ">2.5%" and also why the WHO accepting the 20-50 million from studies until 2010 says 2-3%.
I will note that the original revision I had is as follows:
An estimated 2-3% of those who were infected died (case-fatality ratio).[2] It is estimated that approximately 30 million were killed by the flu, or about 1.7% of the world population.[3] died.[4] An estimate from 1991 says it killed 25–39 million people.[5] A 2005 estimate put the death toll at probably 50 million (less than 3% of the global population), and possibly as high as 100 million (more than 5%).[6][7] But a reassessment in 2018 estimated the total to be only about 17 million,[8] though this has been contested.[9]
The way the paragraph above was written at the time I think supports the publicly accepted lower CFR value. The CDC statement of >2.5% is probably the best way to work around the various estimates but I will also grant that the article i cited from jhu, does conclude that 2-5% of the total world population died and if we estimate 1/3rd of the population has the disease we can estimate the CFR as 2.5-15% but I am uncomfortable publishing a CFR value not attested in literature and would be much happier if the article instead said something along the lines of ">2.5% mortality rate (cdc citation) with some studies showing an overall fatality rate of up to 20%.(jhu citation)"
Hutima (talk) 06:59, 23 March 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response, World Health Organization".
  3. ^ "The Geography and Mortality of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic".
  4. ^ Taubenberger & Morens 2006.
  5. ^ Patterson & Pyle 1991.
  6. ^ Knobler 2005.
  7. ^ Johnson & Mueller 2002.
  8. ^ P. Spreeuwenberg; et al. (Dec 1, 2018). "Reassessing the Global Mortality Burden of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic". American Journal of Epidemiology. 187 (12): 2561–2567. doi:10.1093/aje/kwy191. PMID 30202996.
  9. ^ Siddharth Chandra and Julia Christensen (Mar 2, 2019). "Re: "reassessing the Global Mortality Burden of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic"". Am. J. Epid. 188 (7): 1404–1406. doi:10.1093/aje/kwz044. PMID 30824934. and response Peter Spreeuwenberg, Madelon Kroneman, and John Paget (Mar 2, 2019). "The Authors Reply". Am. J. Epid. 188 (7): 1405–1406. doi:10.1093/aje/kwz041. PMID 30824908.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
The last citation in the paragraph is newer than any of the articles cited in the response blog specifically it says
Total pandemic mortality was an estimated 15 million deaths worldwide in 1918 (n = 2.5 million in 1919) after including the rates for British India and controlling for wars and the underlying mortality trend. According to our validity analysis, simulations of total number of deaths being greater than 25 million are not realistic based on the underlying mortality rates included in Human Mortality Database and in British India. Our results suggest the global death impact of the 1918 pandemic was important (n = 17.4 million) but not as severe as most frequently cited estimates.[1]
So regardless of the contentiosn of this off G article you cited.[2] there isn't academic consensus around the 50-100 million figure and some authors still support the lower 20-50 million figure that would support a 2.5% CFR as this last article was published in 2018 whereas the latest academic article cited in the off-G reference you have was from 2006.
Hutima (talk) 07:12, 23 March 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ P. Spreeuwenberg; et al. (Dec 1, 2018). "Reassessing the Global Mortality Burden of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic". American Journal of Epidemiology. 187 (12): 2561–2567. doi:10.1093/aje/kwy191. PMID 30202996.
  2. ^

According to this working paper by a Harvard professor of economics, the overall mortality rate seems to be 2% (more precisely, 2% of the total population, in other words, from 1918 to 1920, each year is more or less 0.66%).[1]
Also, note that the mortality rate of China is roughly 1.2% (less than the average 2% but not significantly; notice that India has 5% which increases the rate too much). Meanwhile, Korean, Spain, Malaysia, Singapore, Hungary, Italy, etc. have a similar mortality rate as China. So the main argument proving China may be its origin breaks down (their argument is that China was affected mildly).
I would suggest to rewrite the beginning of the subsection "1.1.3 China" as it's quite misleading (the data turns out to be incorrect). See also the figure 1 of this page.[2]
Rationalcurve (talk) 17:59, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 11 April 2020

Change: "A 2020 study found that US cities that implemented early and extensive non-medical measures (quarantine etc.) suffered no adverse economic effects.[1]

To: "A 2020 study found that US cities that implemented early and extensive non-medical measures (quarantine etc.) suffered no additional adverse economic effects due to implementing those measures, when compared with cities that implemented measures late or not at all..[1]

The study concludes that all cities suffered economic impacts, but NPI measures did not increase the economic impact. The original statement made is misleading.


  1. ^ a b Correia, Sergio; Luck, Stephan; Verner, Emil (2020). "Pandemics Depress the Economy, Public Health Interventions Do Not: Evidence from the 1918 Flu". SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.3561560."

Awmon84 (talk) 11:07, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

 Done {{replyto}} Can I Log In's (talk) page 00:26, 14 April 2020 (UTC)

Rename Article "1918 Influenza Pandemic"

For the sake of accuracy and helping others learn from the mistakes of the past during this challenging time, I suggest the article should be renamed to "1918 Influenza Pandemic". The name "Spanish Flu" is a misnomer which was given only because countries involved in the war effort under reported their own cases and reported only on those in Spain. In our current time of crisis when it is critical to promote truth and learn from the mistakes of the past, a misnomer should not be the name of the article about the worst pandemic in modern history. The name Spanish Flu should be discussed in the article in the historical context from which it emerged, but most certainly should not be the name of the article. EpidemiologyAccuracy (talk) 09:18, 13 April 2020 (UTC)

@EpidemiologyAccuracy: if you look further up the talk page you will see that such a move request was made and closed only a few days ago. It's far too soon to start another one. Doug Weller talk 09:50, 13 April 2020 (UTC)
Many names are misnomers. Attempts to change the name of this page come from non-native English speakers who disagree politically. The name must not be changed and attempts to change it must be considered as causally connected to China's current flu-naming problem. (talk) 04:57, 15 April 2020 (UTC)
One of our key policies is to assume good faith. You are only guessing in claiming to know why other editors think the way they do, and in my case, you are simply wrong. Discuss the issue, not other editors. HiLo48 (talk) 05:21, 15 April 2020 (UTC)
Britannica uses the title Influenza pandemic of 1918–19 which is in line with what some medical experts prefer. There may come a time when this article is renamed, but the most recent debate decided to stick with Spanish flu.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:59, 15 April 2020 (UTC)
Discussion continues at #It is not too soon to re-discuss a name change

Oink, Oink (2009 "Swine Flu"?)

I don't recall the H1N1 from 2009 being known as the "swine flu". That was a moniker used for something several decades earlier. I remember my parents being inoculated for that. We did call it the "avian flu", but it was better known just as "H1N1". -- Zeke, April 16

See, eg, the NHS site, and a bunch of other Google hits for "h1n1 swine". Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 13:51, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
And, again according to the NHS, the most recent outbreaks of "Avian flu" were not H1N1. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 13:55, 16 April 2020 (UTC)

"Spanish Flu" is a name that comes from false reporting. Need to correct article name.

Currently the initial sentence: "The Spanish flu, also known as the 1918 flu pandemic…"

Change it to: The 1918-1920 flu pandemic, better known as the "Spanish flu"…

And then change the title to 1918-1920 flu pandemic.

The article, '1889–1890 flu pandemic,' starts with this sentence: "The 1889–1890 flu pandemic, better known as the "Asiatic flu" or "Russian flu", was…"— Preceding unsigned comment added by Nousidios (talkcontribs) 15:20, 15 April 2020 (UTC)

MOS:FIRST says "If possible, the page title should be the subject of the first sentence." Generally speaking, the opening sentence should not contradict the article's title. As for renaming the article, see the section immediately above.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:27, 15 April 2020 (UTC)

It is not too soon to re-discuss a name change

At 16:23, 27 August 2014, after a discussion, Antisemitism was moved to Anti-semitism. The act of moving it drew attention to the debate and a new discussion commenced almost immediately. At 05:05, 16 September 2014, after a discussion, Anti-semitism was moved back to Antisemitism. I missed the first discussion, and I did participate in the second discussion. Here again, I missed the first discussion, but I would like to participate in a second discussion.

I just participated in a Zoom teleconference with some of the world's top experts on epidemiology, COVID-19, and the 1918 flu pandemic, and they all agreed that it should be called the "1918 flu pandemic" or some variation thereof, and not the "Spanish flu". As we work through COVID-19, more and more people, including Wikipedians, are becoming aware of the error in calling the 1918 pandemic "Spanish flu". It is not too soon to reopen this discussion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Anomalocaris (talkcontribs) 19:54, 16 April 2020 (UTC)

No, it is too soon. Three months or so is a better estimate for when to launch the next RM effort. A month is too brief. It ignores the consensus that that RM discussion codified. Consensus can change, but it does not do so at such pace. The WP:GS/COVID19 also finds its application here. El_C 20:04, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
Again, the discussion on Antisemitism started almost immediately and the rename was undone in less than three weeks, and again, as COVID-19 grows exponentially, more and more people are becoming aware of what the world's health experts have been saying for a long time. We don't need to wait three months. —Anomalocaris (talk) 20:11, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
You do. As an uninvolved admin, I am mandating that 3-month moratorium (also invoking WP:GS/COVID19) until the next WP:RM. You cannot change consensus at that pace. Anyway, so, 2 more months. As for Antisemitism, that there were two close move requests is: a. not a precedent. And b. not an indication of anything. I haven't seen those discussions, so I don't know what they entailed or what the reasons were. Either way, it is not pertinent to this COVID-developing item. El_C 20:34, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
El_C: I came to Spanish flu for the first time today as a result of my participation in the teleconference I mentioned above. Then I came to this talk page to see a if there were a discussion on name change, and I saw that the discussion has come up multiple times on this page with limited debate each time. Until now I hadn't looked at Talk:Spanish flu/Archive 3#Requested move 15 March 2020, where I see debate with a lot more participants. Having seen that, I guess I agree that it is too soon for another requested move. However, I didn't find anything giving admins, involved or uninvolved, the authority to mandate a moratorium of any specific length. Kindly point to a source for that authority. (Note: I have stated my views on the move. I will not make a move request; I leave that to others.) Anomalocaris (talk) 22:13, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
Has any event occurred since the last RM related to this century old event? O3000 (talk) 22:17, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
Anomalocaris, not all policy is written. I have the authority to prevent disruptive or tendentious editing, and that includes misuse of process. I also have WP:GS/COVID19 use of "prohibitions," but I could mandate such a moratorium even if I didn't. El_C 22:23, 16 April 2020 (UTC)

popular name

@Olivertownshend and Boing! said Zebedee: The source cited for the sentence that includes the words "popular name" does not have the word "popular" in it. FACT. Geographyinitiative (talk) 10:55, 16 April 2020 (UTC)

  • I have no interest in which content is correct, I just insist that you seek consensus here for your change rather than edit warring, and do not try to dictate what you personally will and will not allow. So wait and see if you get a consensus to remove the word "popular". And please do not SHOUT, OK? Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:57, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
@Boing! said Zebedee: There can't be consensus for unsourced material. Geographyinitiative (talk) 11:01, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
As a general point, not every word used in a sentence in a Wikipedia article needs to be reproduced verbatim in the supporting source, and not every word needs a specific source that contains it - a lot depends on what the specific source is there to support, and what might be supported by other sources used elsewhere in the article. (I have not read the source in question and I do not intend to, as I wish to offer no opinion on the content in this instance. As I say, I offer this just as general guidance). So wait for consensus. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:02, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
PS: No need to ping me every time, I have this page on my watchlist. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:06, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
Been watching this skirmish from afar, but feel I must comment. I know this event as the 1919 flu epidemic. (Sometimes the years vary a little.) I've known it by that name for probably 50 years. Yes, I know some people call it "Spanish flu", but that's not the common name where I come from. I am not formally a reliable source, but anyone claiming "Spanish flu" is the only name has rocks in their head. (Or perhaps just a narrow view.) HiLo48 (talk) 11:11, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
@Boing! said Zebedee and HiLo48: WP:NPA
What I said is that the use of the word 'popular' in this sentence is not justified by a source. The unsourced is to be deleted from the encylopedia. Geographyinitiative (talk) 11:17, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
Please don't use your "sources" argument to make Wikipedia content look silly. HiLo48 (talk) 11:28, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
What you actually said when you removed the word was "I will not allow you to pretend that there is any other legitimate English language name for this flu unless you can prove it." So you most certainly did claim that "Spanish flu" is the only name. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:20, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
Also, that was in addition to claiming the use of the word "popular" was a "policy objective from Beijing", and saying it is "consistent with a Chinese Communist soft power campaign to de-legitimatize the English language's established uses and practices". So your real motivation is abundantly clear. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:33, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
As an observation, if a consensus here decides that "Spanish flu" *is* the only name, the opening sentence in the lead will need to be changed, as it currently starts "The Spanish flu, also known as the 1918 flu pandemic..." Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:22, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
And as another aside (can you tell I'm bored sitting here locked up at home when it's a lovely sunny day?), I only learned that "Spanish flu" and "1918 flu" were the same thing through this article. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:29, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
I really do think that the 1918 flu thing is all about trying to take control of the English language away from the English language books and materials and thereby to revise history. The etymology section tells us as much. I agree that it's a silly name for this disease. I agree there are other names for the disease. But the recent attempt to break the English language in favor of the Communist Party of China's demand that all new viruses not be named after geography (especially Chinese geography!) was ghastly and this is one of the unjustified remnants of that sickening attempt to destroy the English language 1984 style. Geographyinitiative (talk) 11:45, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
People in China contacted me on WeChat and were dictating to me what the current virus was to be called in English. Thanks but no thanks. 11:48, 16 April 2020 (UTC)Geographyinitiative (talk)
So you admit that your desired edit is motivated by political opposition to what some people in China tried to tell you? Also, as one of my many asides, I've been aware of the name "1918 flu" for decades, so I don't see how it could have been invented as part of a "recent attempt to break the English language in favor of the Communist Party of China's demand that all new viruses not be named after geography (especially Chinese geography!)" It defintely has not just come into use in the past few years. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:58, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
And, I must add that your opinion that it's all about "trying to take control of the English language..." is of no relevance whatsoever. Here it's all about common usage and what reliable sources call things, remember? Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 12:04, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
  • I asked a friend who's good at etymology, and he found a reference to "1918 flu" in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1939.[1] That's ten years before the People's Republic of China came into existence. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 12:27, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
You can see from this google ngram [1] that Spanish Flu is the most common (and therefore popular) term. I find it hard to take seriously anyone who wants a change to Wikipedia because they feel it reflects Chinese government policy. This isn't 1984. Olivertownshend (talk) 06:39, 18 April 2020 (UTC)
  • See WP:GOOGLE. Search engine results are interesting, but are not in themselves suitable sourcing for a Wikipedia article. I agree that "popular" actually means WP:COMMONNAME according to Wikipedia guidelines, but some medical experts prefer terms like "1918 flu pandemic".--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:48, 18 April 2020 (UTC)
"I really do think that the 1918 flu thing is all about trying to take control of the English language away from the English language books and materials and thereby to revise history." Well, you think wrong. And you're saying I'm lying. It's always dangerous to think that your own experience reflects what happens everywhere. HiLo48 (talk) 23:37, 16 April 2020 (UTC)


In this Article, it says " Nearly a century after the Spanish flu struck in 1918–1920, health organizations moved away from naming epidemics after geographical places." Then sites a Huffpost for "facts". The link is biased and BASED as hell. Note its not on the infogalactic version ( ) . Please, make this article better and remove that line. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I see nothing in the least "biased" about this. However, I have adjusted the text. O3000 (talk) 16:10, 19 April 2020 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 April 2020

In two places you state that the Spanish flu infected a quarter of the population (in the into paragraph, and in the first paragraph of the Mortality section)

[intro paragraph] Change from

it infected 500 million people – about a quarter of the world's population at the time. The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million

Change to

it infected 500 million people – about one-third of the world's population at the time. The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million

1st paragraph in the Mortality section Change From

″The Spanish flu infected around 500 million people, about a quarter of the world's population.[1] Estimates as to how many infected people died vary greatly, but the flu is regardless considered to be one of the deadliest pandemics in history.″

Change to "The Spanish flu infected around 500 million people, about one-third of the world's population.[1] Estimates as to how many infected people died vary greatly, but the flu is regardless considered to be one of the deadliest pandemics in history."

I would just like to see consistency between information cited in the footnotes at the bottom of the Spanish Flu entry and what is actually written on the Wikipedia page for the Spanish Flu. It is very misleading to have that inconsistency. If the cited references state that it was one-third of the population, how do you get one-fourth (quarter of the population) being infected? There is more evidence for the one-third number whereas one-fourth is not documented in the references

[1] [2] [3]

Reasons why the change is requested

This last item ( in the mortality section) has a reference to footnote number 1 --- by Taubenberger and Morens, 2006. If you look at that cited reference document it states:

″An estimated one third of the world's population (or ≈500 million persons) were infected and had clinically apparent illnesses (1,2) during the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic. The disease was exceptionally severe. Case-fatality rates were >2.5%, compared to <0.1% in other influenza pandemics (3,4). Total deaths were estimated at ≈50 million (5–7) and were arguably as high as 100 million (7).″ [14]

The CDC states that one-third, not a quarter, of the world's population was infected by the Spanish flu. [15]

"It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States. Mortality was high in people younger than 5 years old, 20-40 years old, and 65 years and older. The high mortality in healthy people, including those in the 20-40 year age group, was a unique feature of this pandemic."

[4] [5]

Zitap123 (talk) 22:12, 15 April 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ Taubenberger and Morens, 2006. [1]
  2. ^ CDC Website [2]
  3. ^ Bristow, Nancy. Presentation to the WWI Museum and Memorial on 11/1/2019 --3 minutes into the presentation --
  4. ^
  5. ^
 Done {{replyto}} Can I Log In's (talk) page 06:09, 22 April 2020 (UTC)


I do not see in the article a clear chronology of the phases of this flu. Surely there should be a section on "Chronology" that discusses what appear to be the waves of infection. I would like it to clearly state what we know about the severity of the flu in, let's say, 1918 vs. 1919 vs. 1920. As an example of poor chronology, the proposed title "1918 flu epidemic" would misrepresent the actual chronology. Zaslav (talk) 04:51, 23 April 2020 (UTC)

I agree, this article needs to be reorganized with a clear chronology. I'm actively working on a new section about the Third Wave in 1919 (which is hardly mentioned here) and I'm also looking up information about the events between summer 1919 and December 1920 (good reliable sources are very difficult to find). After I add this information I'm in favor of a reorganization of this page with clear chronology. Curious to hear what others think. DallasFletcher (talk) 23:02, 23 April 2020 (UTC)

Secondary bacterial infection not bacterial super infection

Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page).Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill the very young and the very old, with a higher survival rate for those in between, but the Spanish flu pandemic resulted in a higher than expected mortality rate for young adults.[4] Scientists offer several possible explanations for the high mortality rate of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Some analyses have shown the virus to be particularly deadly because it triggers a cytokine storm, which ravages the stronger immune system of young adults.[5] In contrast, a 2007 analysis of medical journals from the period of the pandemic found that the viral infection was no more aggressive than previous influenza strains.[6][7] Instead, malnourishment, overcrowded medical camps and hospitals, and poor hygiene promoted secondary bacterial infection. These infections killed most of the victims, typically after a somewhat prolonged death bed.[8][9] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pbvet007 (talkcontribs)

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Do you have a proposal on how to improve the article? El_C 00:12, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
I think the idea is to attribute Spanish Flu's deadliness to the post-WWI healthcare's troubles rather than "deadliness per se". Also, IIRC, "super infection" refers to bacterial infection with resistantce to drugs than high no antibiotic would cure it instead. Uchyotka (talk) 07:24, 31 August 2020 (UTC)


Beginning of the articles states, "Lasting from spring 1918 through spring or early summer 1919" Then in the Etymology section it states: "Nearly a century after the Spanish flu struck in 1918–1920" Obviously both of these statements cannot be true. My independent research has suggest the flu lasted for 4 years into 1921. Either way something needs to change. SChalice (talk) 20:38, 5 May 2020 (UTC)

One important point that came up earlier is this article lacks a clear chronology. I've been trying to add information from 1919 and 1920 which was previously missing. If you have good sources from 1921 can you add them? My hope is that we can create subsections related to the various phases of the pandemic that I can later reorganize under a History > Timeline subsection. DallasFletcher (talk) 04:26, 9 May 2020 (UTC)
I was also a bit worried by this inconsistency. The fourth wave in 1920 was considered to be very small, but there were still some deaths in 1920.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:04, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
Our article currently claims that the fourth wave was "very minor" and "mortality rates were very low", but neither of these is supported by a citation. On the contrary, the Influenza journal citation (Yang et al) tabulates its NYC mortality as nearly 70% of the third wave, and much larger than the first wave. Our summaries of the 1920 wave need to be more consistent with the published sources. — (talk) 07:22, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
This source says "Because of the lack of comprehensive medical records from 1918-20, there is not enough evidence to conclude an accurate number of deaths in any of the waves of the pandemic." Nevertheless, some people were still dying from it in 1920. For the same reason, it is hard to give an exact point in time for the end of the pandemic, although 1918-20 is the agreed timeline for many sources. This is why saying 1918-19 in the article leads to an inconsistency.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 08:42, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
Yes agree the fourth wave needs a citation. A big challenge here is that the flu was heavily underreported by this point and there's a shortage of good information. Nonetheless I am digging up a few, including this CDC gem about mortality rates in 1920[1]. I'm planning to quantify this claim, sort out inconsistencies and add refs in the next few days. DallasFletcher (talk) 01:08, 12 May 2020 (UTC)
@DallasFletcher: Are you still planning to do more with this "Fourth wave 1920" section of the article? I'm glad it no longer includes one of the unsourced statements that was questioned above: "Mortality rates were very low." However, our article still says "a very minor fourth wave", without a suitable citation. The section's Guardian reference calls the fourth wave "less severe". Should we use this wording instead? Or do you have a ref that would support keeping "very minor"? Thanks. — (talk) 04:55, 9 August 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I am still planning to do more with this section but unfortunately good refs are difficult to find. Let me see what I can put together in a the next few days and we can figure it out from there. DallasFletcher (talk) 16:38, 9 August 2020 (UTC)
Updated now. I removed the "very minor" wording because it's ambiguous and unsourceable. Also it seems like in some isolated places this fourth wave was comparable to earlier ones, not minor at all. DallasFletcher (talk) 22:06, 16 August 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, much improved! — (talk) 02:38, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

Better date information

Using Spring and Spring/Summer is confusing.

Is the northern hemisphere Spring or the southern hemisphere Spring being referenced, or does wikipedia change what it is based on the geo location of the user? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:53, 11 May 2020 (UTC)

Yes, quite right that WP:SEASON discourages seasons as a way of identifying the date due to the difference between the northern and southern hemispheres. Terms like spring, summer and fall are used in the article, and these should be replaced to comply with WP:SEASON.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 10:08, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
Also agree. Why don't we just use absolute dates, like March 1918 - June 1919 or even just 1918-1919, since the flu occurred on different timelines in different parts of the world? If nobody objects soon I'll change this. DallasFletcher (talk) 02:01, 12 May 2020 (UTC)

Name of the article

Why is the article still called the Spanish flu? Spanish flu should of course point to this article, but if people want to have a geographic marker, the Kansas flu would be more accurate. 1918 flu pandemic would be more neutral as a name and be more accurate.Jochum (talk) 10:56, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

See Talk:Spanish_flu/Archive_3#Semi-protected_edit_request_on_11_April_2020 and Talk:Spanish_flu/Archive_3#Requested_move_15_March_2020.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:32, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

Wow, looks like there've been multiple "waves" of attempts to change the name of this article over the past few months. That's not surprising, since the current global coronavirus pandemic has quite obviously inspired a great deal of new interest in, and discussion of, the broadly-comparable event of a century ago. Six months ago, it's extremely unlikely that anyone would've suggested this change, mainly because there really wasn't any particular reason for the subject to be on anybody's radar. But, guess what, things have changed drastically in the past five months. Clearly, there are a great many conscientious individuals who have recently become educated about the history of the so-called "Spanish flu" pandemic, including the origins of that counterfactual moniker. There's nothing at all surprising, much less conspiratorial, about the fact that a great and growing number of such people have come to the conclusion that the moniker can no longer be considered appropriate for use in an official, formal, or scholarly context — such as, indeed, the title of an encyclopedia article.

Reviewing the "discussions" of this issue in these Talk pages from recent months, I've seen quite a lot of rude, irrational, knee-jerk rejections not only of the title-change suggestion but of the individuals bringing those suggestions forward, even including accusations of vaguely sinister "political agendas" that are as bizarre as they are unsubstantiated. Such behavior is totally contrary to the rules and community standards that Wikipedia editors are expected to follow.

Given the principles that guide Wikipedians, and the guidance given by the most authoritative of sources, there is no compelling rationale for failing to change the article title at the present time. Nevertheless, it's not absolutely necessary for the change to be effected immediately; the fate of the world is not hanging on the outcome of any proposal to change the title of one Wikipedia article. I would encourage those in favor of the title change here to be patient. Try again in four months' time. If that fails, try again after another four months, and if necessary once more four months after that. I feel confident that by this time next year, consensus to change the title will have coalesced sufficiently to make it happen. — Jaydiem (talk) 05:55, 24 June 2020 (UTC)

The article actually hasn't been called "Spanish flu" long, and it's called that because of a recent decision to change the title over to "Spanish flu". The article actually was called "1918 flu pandemic" for years, then was moved to "Spanish flu" in a June 2018 discussion which didn't attract a lot of attentiona-only a few people voted. (The final result seems to have been 7-2 in favour of a move. I would have voted oppose but found out about it too late; I was grumbling about it in 2019.) My impression is a lot of modern scholarship avoids the term or puts "Spanish" in scare quotes, but recent political debates aside I think "Spanish flu" is the term best-known to older readers, people coming from a history background, and readers in the USA, making a big coalition of readers who prefer it. Blythwood (talk) 12:21, 24 June 2020 (UTC)
@Blythwood: "[T]he term best-known to[...]" sounds to me like a great reason for a redirect from "Spanish flu" to what I would consider to be a more appropriate encyclopedic title. Also worth noting, as I think others have mentioned elsewhere, is that there is a distinction to be made between the "Spanish flu" pandemic, as a historical event, and the "Spanish flu" virus, the infectious pathogen that was the pandemic's root cause. The title "1918 influenza pandemic", having that last P-word, avoids this ambiguity, whereas the title "Spanish flu" does not. For that reason, for as long as "Spanish flu" remains part of the canonical title of this article, I would submit that it should be redirected to the more descriptive (and encyclopedic) "Spanish flu pandemic of 1918". But then, who am I to blow against the wind? — Jaydiem (talk) 18:38, 26 June 2020 (UTC)
"the popularity of an opinion does not make it valid" (attributed to Socrates). This page should not reproduce the falsehood that the pandemic of flu in 1918-19 could in any way be blamed on Spain. The story of misapportioned blame merits a section, but it should not be emblazoned as fact in the title. See for example, and – Timlev37 —Preceding undated comment added 12:06, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
WP:COMMONNAME dictates "name in common use" should be the main article name. Wikipedia's mission is to describe the world (and the language in use), not to attempt to alter it. There's enough about the misnomer in the article; it's not the first misnomer that became a firm part of the language and not the last, and while in many subjects "the popularity of an opinion does not make it valid", in descriptive languages like English, it does - the phrasing used by the majority is by definition the correct one, and it's against Wikipedia's mission to try to alter it. Sharpfang (talk) 00:04, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
  • AFAIK, the disease was "Spanish" because Spain reported it forst (amidst the WWI events).Uchyotka (talk) 07:26, 31 August 2020 (UTC)
Greetings: In article after article at the World Health Organization (WHO) website, they refer to this event by the awkward term "1918 influenza pandemic known colloquially as Spanish flu". Here's their criteria for naming future viruses and disease: Here's a Snopes article on how it became known as "Spanish flu" for lay interest: Thank you for your time, Wordreader (talk) 21:04, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
Edited to add this link -

If we're naming 1918-20 H1N1 flu the Spanish Flu because it was first reported in Spain when it came from Kansas, America, then we should rename Covid-19 flu China-flu/Wuhan Virus because it was first reported in Wuhan, China. Hypocrite. Naming both viruses after a region/nation is super bigotted and racist and a horrible violation of WHO"s medical law. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:45, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

Articles from public health agencies such as the CDC and the WHO typically refer to it as the 1918 Influenza Pandemic or a similar term.

Aspirin Poisoning heading should be renamed

to.. Aspirin Poisoning Hypothesis. The entry doesn't describe a factual event it states the researchers conclusion about a time period during the pandemic and notes that the conclusion is debated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:43, 15 May 2020 (UTC)

Proposal: Timeline reorganize

Several people have mentioned on this talk page the article lacks a clear chronology, a timeline of events. I propose we create a new subsection: History > Timeline, that reorganizes the following:

2.1 History > Timeline
    2.1.1 First wave spring 1918 (formerly 3.3 First wave spring 1918)
    2.1.2 Deadly second wave fall 1918 (formerly 3.4 Deadly second wave)
    2.1.3 Third wave 1919 (formerly 3.5 Third wave 1919)
    2.1.4 Fourth wave 1920 (formerly 3.6 Fourth wave 1920)

Please vote! On Friday June 5 I'll make this change if we have a majority. For now it's +1 :) DallasFletcher (talk) 06:33, 30 May 2020 (UTC)

There does need to be consistency throughout the article, as previously discussed. The opening sentence is saying 1918-19, while the infobox is saying 1918-20. This is due to differences over the significance of the fourth wave. This needs to be ironed out.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 10:52, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
We don't vote! and we certainly don't set deadlines, but I agree.Graham Beards (talk) 11:33, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
Thanks! I don't know the protocol for proposing structural edits. I suggested a date because I don't want this to linger indefinitely. Let's see who else weighs in soon, of course anybody can revert my edit in the future DallasFletcher (talk) 06:32, 1 June 2020 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 5 June 2020

Please replace:

In Brazil, 300,000 died, including president Rodrigues Alves.


In Brazil, 35,000 died, including president Rodrigues Alves.


The current figure is wildly incorrect. Although there is some uncertainty, the actual figure agreed upon most sources is almost ten times lower than what is currently appearing in the Wikipedia entry. The Wikipedia entry in Portuguese has the correct figure:

"Ainda nas Américas, a pandemia resultou em, ao mínimo, 35 mil mortos no Brasil, incluindo o presidente Rodrigues Alves."[86][87]


Andrade, Rodrigo de Oliveira Andrade. A time of chaos: 100 years ago, Spanish flu wreaked havoc worldwide, killing 30 million people and 35,000 in Brazil alone.” Pesquisa FAPESP 266 (April 2018). Retrieved 5 June 2020.

Arkel Buch (talk) 11:49, 5 June 2020 (UTC) Arkel Buch (talk) 11:49, 5 June 2020 (UTC)

The problem as ever is that the figures for the death toll are an estimate. In all countries, it was impossible to say exactly how many people died, leading to widely varying estimates. The figure of 300,000 deaths in Brazil is also sourced here. It's always a problem to know what to do when the sourcing varies considerably.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:02, 5 June 2020 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 9 June 2020

The Etymology section is a mess. Editors have made opinion contributions, rather than editorial which has nothing to do with the situation and perpetuates meta-discourse. (talk) 05:34, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

 Not done. Need a specific edit request, like change x to y. El_C 05:37, 9 June 2020 (UTC)

When did this strain of flu leave the world?

I was told, by someone who is knowledgeable about most things, that this strain of flu (the so-called "Spanish flu") was around intermittently into the 1950s before it finally disappeared altogether. Is this true? The article stops its discussion at that 4th wave in 1920. Thank you for your time, Wordreader (talk) 07:58, 20 June 2020 (UTC)

It's an interesting question, because the sourcing is pretty much agreed that the pandemic had faded out by 1920. This does not necessarily mean that there were no cases at all after that, but there would need to be sourcing discussing this.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 12:14, 20 June 2020 (UTC)
My understanding is that it never actually left and is still lingering around in the seasonal flu, just not in large numbers. I think you'll have a hard time finding reliable sources to support this. DallasFletcher (talk) 01:27, 4 July 2020 (UTC)
According to this CDC publication (which currently appears twice in our Citations and twice in our Bibliography), "almost all cases of influenza A worldwide have been caused by descendants of the 1918 virus, including drifted H1N1 viruses and reassorted H2N2 and H3N2 viruses." Some of these "substantially milder" descendant viruses persist in humans and in pigs.
It'd be great if a knowledgeable editor could incorporate the relevant information into our article, and consolidate the referencing. — (talk) 02:38, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
Can't say if it's still around or if it was around intermediately, but this is the same strain of flu that caused the 2009 swine flu pandemic, H1N1. mossypiglet (talk) quote or something 00:50, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
Thank you all for the information. Fingers, toes, and eyes all tightly crossed that SARS-CoV-2 does not follow this flu's pattern. Wordreader (talk) 20:14, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
Well one class of common cold viruses are coronaviruses too, so I'm afraid it is indeed likely to persist. But killing your hosts is not a good survival/propagation strategy so the strains that do that will fade away. It is a reasonable guess that this is what happened to the Spanish (aka Kentucky) Flu. The cold virus is very successful because it doesn't push its luck. Hosts (people) just feel a bit miserable, they still go to work, onto public transport and into shops, coughing and sneezing as they go. As bugs go, it CV-19 is not that clever compare to say Malaria. --John Maynard Friedman (talk)

Philadelphia Liberty Loans Parade

The Philadelphia Liberty Loans Parade has its own article but it is not mentioned here. This is something that should probably be added, as it was one of the most serious incidents of the pandemic.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:24, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

This was added. Given that the 2020 Summer Olympics has been postponed, it is interesting that the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium went ahead without any major concerns. As this source says, the Spanish flu pandemic was not considered to be a serious threat by the time that the sporting events began in August 1920. I thought about adding this, but wondered if it had WP:TOPIC problems.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:39, 9 July 2020 (UTC)


I changed "also contemporarily referred to as the 1918 Flu Pandemic or H1N1 Pandemic" to "also now referred to as the 1918 Flu Pandemic or H1N1 Pandemic". "Contemporarily" (or rather, contemporaneously, the correct English) means at that time, not now. The term H1N1 did not exist at the time of ths Spanish flu. Zaslav (talk) 06:03, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 July 2020

Mortality - Around the globe: third paragraph,sentence that says; In Sweden, 34,000 did. Change did to died. 2601:581:8402:1EE0:304C:CD3D:3958:6A95 (talk) 23:17, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

 Done---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 23:35, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

First wave

Do we have any rough estimates, no matter how rough, from experts on how high the total death count of the first wave was? Our article here says that the third wave killed "several hundreds of thousands", making the third wave "still a lot deadlier than the first wave". --2003:EF:170B:F523:B4E9:E872:BD91:96ED (talk) 01:37, 2 August 2020 (UTC)

It is always going to be an estimate, because no exact records were kept. The consensus is that the second wave in late 1918 was the deadliest, and that the third wave was deadlier than the first.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:55, 2 August 2020 (UTC)

NOT 17 million but 50 million deaths

The lead quotes a single source suggesting the number of deaths might have been as low as 17 million. In truth, the more common estimate is 50 to 100 million people. I have deleted the reference to 17 million"

Dozens of reliable sources, including CDC, are saying 50 million. Some say 50 to 100 million.

Peter K Burian (talk) 16:24, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Those are popular sources repeating the same numbers through citogenesis, but there is no reason to remove the 17 million figure (which, by the way, corresponds to a global mortality rate of roughly 1%, about the same as war-torn Europe and considerably higher than the U.S. and other less-affected regions of the globe, such as Japan and possibly China) from the range in the lede given that it is sourced to a recent (2018) academic study. Frankly, the 2005 study postulating up to 100 million deaths was something of an outlier at the time of publication relative to the numerous previous studies over decades that gave estimates ranging from 21 million to 40 million, yet its "50–100 million" range circulated over the Internet and has been widely repeated since, even though it was not believed for almost a century that Spanish flu mortality could possibly have been that high. Whether the 2005 study is correct or not, it's far from clear that repetition in mass media should be taken as an indication that its findings are the academic consensus, or that the 2018 reassessment should be excluded as a fringe viewpoint (even if it is slightly on the low side).TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 17:53, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
(I've formatted the list to make it easier to follow Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 17:58, 29 September 2020 (UTC))
I disagree TheTimesAreAChanging but do not want to start an edit war by reverting. Your comments are well thought-out but what sources confirms 17 million?? The sources I quoted include NOT only mass media:

Peter K Burian (talk) 18:03, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

A few mass-media sources mention 17 million but the vast majority - including scientific sources - say 50+ million: Peter K Burian (talk) 18:05, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
Your thoughts ♦IanMacM♦? Peter K Burian (talk) 18:08, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
"what sources confirms 17 million??" The 2018 reassessment can be found here; I've just been reading through it and it has a lot of useful information on death rates by country/age group where that data is available. According to the study, estimates of 50 million deaths globally approximate data from India (considered to be the hardest-hit country during the 1918–1919 pandemic), while estimates of 100 million or more assume that "there would have been many countries that had even much higher mortality rates than India," which is not supported by any available evidence. Given that Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. all had excess mortality rates of less than 1% (~0.76%-0.97%, ~0.28%-0.4%, and ~0.59-0.6%, respectively) and that "there is a discussion that China was hit mildly by the 1918–1919 pandemic," a global death rate of roughly 1% should hardly be considered "low." The data from India, moreover, contains wide variations in the excess mortality rate (ranging from a low of 0.47% to a high of 6.66% depending on the region) and given that India already had an unusually high mortality rate in 1917 and that the largest mortality increase in 1918 occurred within the 0-14 age group (which was relatively unaffected by the Spanish flu in other countries) it is likely that other factors (famine, unrelated diseases, etc.) at least partially account for the high 1918 mortality observed. The researchers perform several consistency checks, concluding: "We also show that it is important to test the theoretical feasibility of estimates (e.g., 100 million deaths), because results of such tests suggest the true estimate is very unlikely to be higher than 25 million and probably closer to our final estimate of 17.4 million deaths (1918 and 1919 combined)."TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 19:35, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
As I've said many times, all of the figures are an estimate; none are absolutely right or wrong. The typical estimate for deaths from Spanish flu is 20-50 million worldwide. This is in line with what Britannica says.[16] I've always thought that the estimate of 100 million is on the high side, but it is okay to include it as long as it is reliably sourced. But let's not have a debate that goes along the lines of "source a is better than source b".--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:49, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
  • At a time when the world's population was around two billion people, a mortality rate of 1% works out at 20 million deaths. 100 million deaths would be a mortality rate of 5%, which is considerably higher than suggested by data about the mortality rate in developed countries. There is a good article about the competing claims here.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 10:03, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

We should go with what the vast majority of sources say, though the 17 million deaths estimate is definitely worth mentioning. For the infobox, I think that the best option for us at this point would be to either include a single range (17–100 million) or two separate ranges (17 million & 50–100 million) for the death toll. If we go with the second option, I would specify that the 17 million figure is a 2018 estimate by the American Journal of Epidemiology while the 50–100 million figure is the most widely-accepted estimate. LightandDark2000 🌀 (talk) 20:03, 2 October 2020 (UTC)

OK, so I was cleaning up some stuff in the article and checked the refs. I couldn't find the 17 million number. Then I did finally find it and was going to change the 20 to 17, only to have an edit collision with TheTimesAreAChanging. That's fine, but I don't think we need to say it twice, "The death toll is typically estimated to have been somewhere between 20 million and 50 million, although estimates range from a conservative 17 million to a possible high of 100 million" (and the labels don't seem warranted). How about: "The death toll is is usually estimated to have been somewhere around 50 million, although estimates range from as low as 17 million to a high of 100 million"? — UncleBubba T @ C ) 00:29, 1 January 2021 (UTC)

Rename Spanish Flu back to 1918-1920 H1N1 Flu to prevent racism for the sake of Spanish speaking people and Hispanics

If we're naming 1918-20 H1N1 flu the Spanish Flu because it was first reported in Spain when it came from Kansas, America, then we should rename Covid-19 flu China-flu/Wuhan Virus because it was first reported in Wuhan, China. Hypocrite. Naming both viruses after a region/nation is super bigotted and racist and a horrible violation of WHO"s medical law. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:04, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

See Talk:Spanish_flu/Archive_3#Requested_move_15_March_2020. TBH I'm not greatly fond of the term Spanish flu, but Wikipedia has to take on board WP:COMMONNAME. BBC News still uses it.[17] The theory that it came from Kansas is not regarded as certain by academics. The term Spanish flu has stuck because it was first widely reported there at a time when countries involved in WW1 were censoring news reports.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 22:28, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

Most people refer to it as Spanish flu, it is not "racist" and we don't need to rename everything retrospectively just because of political correctness. Oppashi Talk 12:42, 31 October 2020 (UTC)

Totally agree with User:Oppashi. The historical name has been used for DECADES and should stay that way. And some anonymous Wikipedia INDIVIDUAL renaming it as "1918-1920 H1N1 Flu" is NOT his prerogative; naming important science-related events is done by the relevant scientific or international body, and not by a single person.Titus III (talk) 03:44, 8 November 2020 (UTC)

If we’re following your logic, Then we should name COVID-19 to China flu like Trump did — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:29, 2 November 2020 (UTC)

Agree with the above IP. If Zika Virus, Ebola, Hendra virus, MERS, Swine flu, et al get to keep their names, even though WHO and other's have officially stated they are either racist or inaccurate, then Wuhan Flu or China Flu should stay. Period. Else, it's political correctness and virtue signaling. Sad. (talk) 05:19, 7 November 2020 (UTC)

Nah. Only Trump called it "China flu" but MOST people (like 80-90% of them) call it "spanish flu" in almost every language, thus it is the common name of it. It is not racist just because it doesn't fit the contemporary PC agenda. Oppashi Talk 21:31, 1 December 2020 (UTC)

It is not racist just because it does not fit the contemporary PC agenda. It is racist because it is based on prejudice. BarryBorgia (talk) 02:23, 18 March 2021 (UTC)

No. Oppashi Talk 09:20, 19 May 2021 (UTC)

Unsourced - pathogenic viruses become less lethal with time