Is the 1918 flu pandemic responsible for the majority of Iranian casualties during the first world war (1917-1919)?

are the British (who were the a occupying power) responsible for it?

(because the people of Iran in those days did not have sufficient knowledge of infectious diseases and had probably never seen a microscope, so this must be one of the reasons that they did not know what was responsible for the majority of Iranian casualties during the first world war.)

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    No one really knows where it started. Theories range from Kansas to France to China. No one can be considered responsible for it either. – American Luke Dec 16 '13 at 23:08
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    The 1918 flu pandemic was not biological warfare. – jwenting Dec 17 '13 at 6:35
  • @jwenting - was too. Virus vs. meatbags. Visus did pretty well but ultimately lost. – DVK Dec 23 '13 at 0:36
  1. Flu is caused by a virus. A virus is too small for an optical microscope.

  2. The 1918 flu pandemic was neither caused nor spread by humans intentionally (although some nations uses quarantine to good effect).

  3. Humans still have no effective flu treatment.

  4. Blaming the British for Iranian deaths from the pandemic is preposterous. The British did not quarantine any part of the Empire from the rest, so why would they be expected to do that in Persia?


I haven't found a lot of numbers specifically for British Persia, but it is amost certianly the case that far more subjects of that area died from the Spanish Flu (50-100 million killed world-wide) rather than WWI (about 16 million killed, mostly in Europe and Africa). Even among the heaviest combatants, the the numbers were close (eg: UK 1 mil for war, 250K for the Flu, France 1.7 mil for war, 400K for the Flu)

The flu was a pandemic, that hit every corner of the globe hard. People like to try to blame these things on someone, but that's really unrealistic. Certinaly the British were no more at fault that the Chinese (an early theory had it originating there), or Kansans. Certianly there was nothing they could have done to stop it even if they tried. People on isloated Pacific islands died off (8% of the population of Tonga) every bit as much as folks in well-traveled crossroads.

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