The 1918-1919 pandemic was the most destructive in recorded history. Page of 6 Sort By. In Newfoundland the pandemic spread was highly variable. If you have an ancestor who died in 1918, I encourage you to look for death records, then obituaries and newspaper articles. Researchers are going through records to learn from the actions taken decades ago. Not pandemic, but included for comparison purposes. The first case of influenza diagnosed in Philadelphia was reported on September 18, 1918 at the Navy base. Government actions in the early stages of the virus' arrival in the country in September 1918 are believed to have unintentionally accelerated its spread throughout the country. 18 Mar 1900 – 3 Dec 1918. An estimated 500 million worldwide were infected, and the death toll was anywhere from between 20 to 100 million. In 1918, older adults may have had partial protection caused by exposure to the 1889–1890 flu pandemic, known as the "Russian flu". More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. [58] Peru experienced a late wave in early 1920, and Japan had one from late 1919 to 1920, with the last cases in March. [166] In British Somaliland, one official estimated that 7% of the native population died. When people read the obituaries, they saw the war or postwar deaths and the deaths from the influenza side by side. National Records of Scotland, Statutory Register of Deaths, 1918, 644/3 565 p.189 The victims of the disease were mainly from ill-nourished working class families. [184], A study conducted by He et al. The 1918 flu spread rapidly, killing 25 million people in just the first six months. While Philadelphia dealt with the virus in September, it took an additional three weeks before Pittsburgh succumbed to the virus. But with the spread of influenza disease the cases of tuberculosis cases in men decreased. [87] After this, death would follow within hours or days due to the lungs being filled with fluids. Series 10.33, Minute Books of the Philadelphia Advisory Committee, 1918. A newspaper account four days later said the number of sick had soared to 1,500. Spanish flu was the most devastating pandemic ever recorded, leaving major figures like medical philanthropist Bill Gates to draw comparisons to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 2 {March-April 2001}: 16-20) "Philadelphia was about to become the American city with the highest, most rapidly accumulating death toll in the worst pandemic in recorded history." Oct. 7, 1918. The Spanish flu led to record death tolls. Oct. 11, 1918 [174], The first estimate of the Chinese death toll was made in 1991 by Patterson and Pyle, which estimated a toll of between 5 and 9 million. [87] Other signs and symptoms reported included spontaneous mouth and nosebleeds, miscarriages for pregnant women, a peculiar smell, teeth, and hair falling, delirium, dizziness, insomnia, loss of hearing or smell, blurred vision, and impaired color vision. By the spring of 1919, it was estimated there were 12,191 deaths in Philadelphia alone (of a population of 1.7 million). "Twenty-six percent of Philadelphia physicians and a much larger percentage of nurses were away serving with the military; 75 percent of Philadelphia's hospitals' medical and surgical staffs were overseas" (Armstrong, "Philadelphia, Nurses, and the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918"). In 1920, the mortality rate among people under 65 had decreased sixfold to half the mortality rate of people over 65, but 92% of deaths still occurred in people under 65. One telegram and two letters indicating the influenza epidemic made meetings and motion picture viewing impossible. Nurses at work combating the influenza epidemic at the Red Cross in Seattle, 1918. Some survivors did not fully recover from physiological condition(s). Josephine H. Adams 3 Sep 1918 – 26 Oct 1918. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. [29] Failure to take preventive measures in March/April was later criticized. Known as "Spanish Flu" or "La Grippe" the influenza of 1918-1919 was a global disaster. But, during the first, second and third waves of the pandemic, the mortality shifted. [113] Nevertheless, actions were taken. One way of finding out if your family was affected is to compare the 1910 and 1920 census records, as well as death certificates. Influenza, or flu, is a virus that attacks the respiratory system. [68], In 1993, Claude Hannoun, the leading expert on the Spanish flu at the Pasteur Institute, asserted the precursor virus was likely to have come from China and then mutated in the United States near Boston and from there spread to Brest, France, Europe's battlefields, the rest of Europe, and the rest of the world, with Allied soldiers and sailors as the main disseminators. In total the Spanish flu afflicted an estimated 103,000 Wisconsinites and killed 8,459, either from the flu itself or from related pneumonia. [243] Rolland had authored an article in the Lancet during 1917 about a respiratory illness outbreak beginning in 1916 in Étaples, France. Others have disagreed,[229] and more recent research has suggested the strain may have originated in a nonhuman, mammalian species. [57] New York City alone reported 6,374 deaths between December 1919 and April 1920, almost twice the number of the first wave in spring 1918. [74][75][78][173] However, some reports from its interior suggest that mortality rates from influenza were perhaps higher in at least a few locations in China in 1918. Historian Alfred W. Crosby stated in 2003 that the flu originated in Kansas,[60] and popular author John M. Barry described a January 1918 outbreak in Haskell County, Kansas, as the point of origin in his 2004 article. 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(2011) used a mechanistic modeling approach to study the three waves of the 1918 influenza pandemic. The epidemic was a world-wide event: My local genealogical society (Perth County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, Canada) has published a 21 page booklet on the epidemic, "Avondale Burials, Spanish Influenza Epidemic 1918" (2001, non-electronic), with articles and obituaries from Stratford newspapers, listing quarantines, death tolls and other news pertaining to the epidemic. Normally, elderly people account for the overwhelming number of influenza deaths; in 1918, that was reversed, with young adults killed in the highest numbers. The rapid pace of the pandemic, which, for example, killed most of its victims in the United States within less than nine months, resulted in limited media coverage. Modern transportation systems made it easier for soldiers, sailors, and civilian travelers to spread the disease. Australia also managed to avoid the first two waves with a quarantine. [183] Paradoxically, however, African Americans were relatively spared by the pandemic. "[136], In Finland, 20,000 died out of 210,000 infected. Advice on "What to do until the doctor comes, " "To householders," "To workers," and "To nurses" provided by the Council of National Defense and the Committee of Public Safety, modified from the State Department of Health of Massachusettes and Emergency Public Health Committee, sent to newspapers entitled "How to Avoid It - How to Care for Those Who Have It." October 1918 was the month with the highest fatality rate of the whole pandemic. Requests for petty cash for Schuykill County, which was approved and retracted, an increase in petty cash from $100 to $500 to meet influenza epidemic (Thursday, October 18, 1918). Worobey extracted tissue from the slides to potentially reveal more about the origin of the pathogen. In the US, about 675,000 people died while 22 million caught the disease. [89] If it is correct, Russia lost roughly 0.4% of its population, meaning it suffered the lowest influenza-related mortality in Europe. It’s not likely that any of us has first-hand recollections of the Spanish flu. [119], Due to World War I, many countries engaged in wartime censorship, and suppressed reporting of the pandemic. [177][74] Similarly, in the city of Shanghai – which had a population of over 2 million in 1918 – there were only 266 recorded deaths from influenza among the Chinese population in 1918. These factors were school opening and closing, temperature changes throughout the outbreak, and human behavioral changes in response to the outbreak. Studies show a much higher mortality rates in males compared with females. [176] The lower estimates of the Chinese death toll are based on the low mortality rates that were found in Chinese port cities (for example, Hong Kong) and on the assumption that poor communications prevented the flu from penetrating the interior of China. [230] An estimated date for its appearance in mammalian hosts has been put at the period 1882–1913. 7, Schuykill County; the fifth letter, dated November 7, 1918 to Ball, asks that Ira B. Jones be appointed to the Local Draft Board No. (7 volumes). The database also provides the names and genealogical history of those who died from the pandemic over a … About 80% of the deaths caused by swine flu … Most died in a terrifying span of 16 weeks. [240], One of the few things known for certain about influenza in 1918 and for some years after was that it was, except in the laboratory, exclusively a disease of human beings. Keystone State. [84] The fact that most of those who recovered from first-wave infections had become immune showed that it must have been the same strain of flu. [150], In Brazil, 300,000 died, including president Rodrigues Alves. Louis. The Spanish flu infected around 500 million people, about one-third of the world's population. [113] Iceland protected a third of its population from exposure by blocking the main road of the island. Please enable scripts and reload this page. Influenza is caused by a virus that is transmitted from person to person through airborne respiratory secretions. In Philadelphia, for example, 4,597 people died in the week ending 16 October, but by 11 November, influenza had almost disappeared from the city. 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, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. ; Influenza S suspected Pnemonia L; Influenza and Laryngitis, acute, catarrhal, O.L. Similarly, in Western Samoa 22% of the population of 38,000 died within two months. It killed more people in 24 weeks than AIDS killed in 24 years. Skr. [26] It then quickly spread to the rest of France, Great Britain, Italy, and Spain and in May reached Breslau and Odessa. April 1918 - the first mention of the flu appears in an American public health report, describing 18 severe cases and three deaths in Kansas. The influenza did not discriminate who was infected, indeed it attacked the socioeconomic status of people. [142], In New Zealand, the flu killed an estimated 6,400 Pakeha and 2,500 indigenous Maori in six weeks, with Māori dying at eight times the rate of Pakeha. 2 “Sixty Influenza Victims at Rifle Range; All Mild Cases,” Denver Evening News, 24 Sept. 1918, 19, and “Report Influenza Under Control at Rifle Range,” 26 Sept. 1918, 4. [160] Worst affected was Western Samoa, formerly German Samoa, which had been occupied by New Zealand in 1914. [183] These disparities reflected worse diets, crowded living conditions, and problems accessing healthcare. Among the many of them who toiled, Marie Louis Hidell (at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital) and Edna Place (Philadelphia, PA) lost their lives and were awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for their work. [93] The virus also killed people directly by causing massive hemorrhages and edema in the lungs. [98], During the deadly second wave there were also fears that it was in fact plague, dengue fever, or cholera. [121] Misinformation would also spread along with the disease. [26] The disease had been observed in Haskell County in January 1918, prompting local doctor Loring Miner to warn the US Public Health Service's academic journal. Quickly, Philadelphia became the city with the highest influenza death toll in the US. [38] From the Boston Navy Yard and Camp Devens (later renamed Fort Devens), about 30 miles west of Boston, other U.S. military sites were soon afflicted, as were troops being transported to Europe. The 1918 influenza pandemic and human capital development", https://www.marketwatch.com/story/another-warning-from-1918-spanish-flu-for-covid-19-survival-does-not-mean-that-individuals-fully-recovered-2020-08-18, "Downton Abbey, Season Two, Episode Six Recap: Nobody Expects the Spanish Influenza! Hanssen, Olav. It was nicknamed ‘Spanish flu’ as the first reported cases were in Spain. No one at the time could determine what caused the virus to mutate so quickly and virulently; and researchers today are still trying to determine the exact cause of the virus. Newspapers were free to report the epidemic's effects in neutral Spain, such as the grave illness of King Alfonso XIII, and these stories created a false impression of Spain as especially hard hit. [238], In December 2008, research by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin linked the presence of three specific genes (termed PA, PB1, and PB2) and a nucleoprotein derived from Spanish flu samples to the ability of the flu virus to invade the lungs and cause pneumonia. 1918-19 Influenza Victims. Any soldier that was ill and could not depart was added to the population of Halifax, which increased the case rate of influenza among men during the war. Were debates over their efficacy through the Persian famine of 1917–1919 concurrently related pneumonia Cities were affected with... 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