Officials in St. Louis introduced a broad series of public health measures to contain the flu within two days of the first reported cases. Philadelphia, New Orleans and Boston all used similar interventions, but they took longer to implement them, and as a result, peak mortality rates were higher. In the most extreme disparity, the peak mortality rate in St. Louis was only one-eighth that of Philadelphia, the worst-hit city in the survey. In contrast to St. Louis, Philadelphia imposed bans on public gatherings more than two weeks after the first infections were reported. City officials even allowed a city-wide parade to take place prior to imposing their bans. Cleveland public health officials in 1918 closed churches, theaters, movie houses, schools, dance halls to slow the spread of the flu.
- Some historians speculate he was weak from influenza, which was still rampant in Paris.
- Unfortunately the reassurance, given in this article, that we have multiple guardrails in place to prevent such a huge spread again was wishful thinking.
- Snopes is still fighting an “infodemic” of rumors and misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and you can help.
- In the final four months of 1918, 13,000 Philadelphians died of the flu.
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Our Click to visit country needs to prepare and seek aid from other countries to prepare for this. The USA are the worlds leading consumers and I dint believe the rest of the world could take a financial hit like a US collapse. Another notable strategy from Copeland was to create more than 150 emergency health centers across the city to ease the burden of hospitals treating infected patients, according to PHR.
However, the desire for normalcy has in turn resulted in a resurgence of the virus. Some retirement homes are nearly at 75% plus positive to the virus, whereas; the nurses are infected as well and even though now overtaken by the virus are capable of working. I hope the timeframe is less, but the end result will likely be another depression.
The 1918 flu was first observed in Europe, the United States and parts of Asia before swiftly spreading around the world. At the time, there were no effective drugs or vaccines to treat this killer flu strain. Citizens were ordered to wear masks, schools, theaters and businesses were shuttered and bodies piled up in makeshift morgues before the virus ended its deadly global march. Most cities relaxed their measures after just a few weeks when flu deaths began to recede. However, many cities faced a surge in cases when measures were eased, which resulted in a second peak—often higher than the first—that led to reactivation of some NPIs (Bootsma and Ferguson, 2007, and Markel et al., 2007).
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The second study, undertaken at Imperial College London, looked at 16 U.S. cities for which both the start and stop dates of interventions were available. In 1918, it was a major Great Lakes port and innovation center—an early home to the steel, automobile, and chemicals industries. With almost twice its current population, it was the sixth biggest city in the country. (Today, it’s fifty-third.) Recent German, Slovak, and Italian immigrants made up 30 percent of the population and nearly all of them worked in factories or performed manual labor. During the epidemic, authorities closed schools, museums, libraries, cabarets, bowling alleys, churches, “and all other places used for general meetings, public or private” but simply limited restaurants’ hours of business. Just as our health care workers in the past, social distancing, hand washing and face covers are the best methods that we have available to help slow the spread of this virus.
Red Cross volunteers in Oakland from the Piedmont Chapter of the Red Cross create masks during the Spanish Flu pandemic in October 1918. An American policeman wearing a ‘Flu Mask’ to protect himself from the outbreak of Spanish flu in November 1918. Doctors giving treatment to an influenza patient at the US Naval Hospital in New Orleans, 1918. There were three waves of the Spanish Flu, but the second bout of the disease was especially catastrophic for the US in the late summer of 1918. Researchers have since established that the Spanish Flu of 1918, now known as H1N1, originated from an avian strain that mutated to be able to infect humans. Patients would sometimes present with a liquid that would pool in their lungs and eventually suffocate them.
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“A monster parade with state guards and bands leading the way was the feature of the day,” the Neenah Daily Times reported. Oshkosh quickly saw a surge of flu cases — 38 in different homes on one day, the Daily Northwestern reported on Nov. 14 — double the previous day. The flu shutdown was reinstated, not lifting until Nov. 29, according to archival research by University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. “It has ben said here that ‘Much of what the press says about Spanish Influenza is nonsense’ and that it was to be regretted that so many cases had been reported by the papers,” the newspaper said. “Wisconsin controlled the epidemic reasonably well because people did what they were asked to do,” he said. But the prolonged shutdown is drawing the ire of GOP leaders who, citing widespread unemployment and other economic pain, argue for a quicker return to normalcy.
Much like what has happened in 2020, most U.S. schools closed during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Their doors were shut for up to four months, with some exceptions, to curb the spread of the disease. We need to get a better handle on how widespread COVID-19 is, especially in the fall, and then we must apply the best scientific evidence. We need to be creative, nimble and flexible as new information develops.
Why The 1918 Flu Pandemic Never Really Ended
Parents will need to participate in the planning process. Social distancing, face masks, hand washing and excellent hygiene remain paramount. Barry described how four days after sailors from Boston arrived at Philadelphia’s navy yard, 19 sailors reported sick with influenza symptoms. As the virus spread, the city’s top health official refused to cancel a parade designed to sell millions of dollars of war bonds, and hundreds of thousands of people jammed the parade route on Sept. 28.