More men than women died in the 1918 influenza pandemic in New Zealand. Most countries had a slight preponderance of female deaths. Males in the 30–34 age group were the worst affected, and at the time people noticed that strong and healthy men rather than 'chesty' or 'weedy' types were more susceptible. Possible explanations include that healthy males did not catch the first mild wave of the flu so were more vulnerable when the second, more deadly, wave arrived; and that men went out to work and were more exposed to the virus than women, who were more able to stay at home. If men did bring the virus home, women and children could remain at home and recover, while men may have had to continue working.
Using this item
This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand Licence
Source: Geoffrey W. Rice, Black November: the 1918 influenza pandemic in New Zealand. 2nd ed. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2005, p. 223.