The State of Science, Microbiology, and Vaccines in 1918

Many vaccines were developed and used during the 1918–1919 pandemic. Synopsis The influenza pandemic of 1918–1919 dramatically altered biomedical knowledge of the disease. At its onset, the foundation of scientific knowledge was information collected during the previous major pandemic of 1889–1890. The work of Otto Leichtenstern, first published in 1896, described the major epidemiological and[…]

‘Slackers’: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic and Face Masks

As the US battled the 1918 influenza pandemic, some communities staged contentious battles against wearing masks. Sound familiar? We have all seen the alarming headlines: Coronavirus cases are surging in 40 states, with new cases and hospitalization rates climbing at an alarming rate. Health officials have warned that the U.S. must act quickly to halt[…]

Historical Lessons from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Denver

How politicians and the public in Denver, Colorado, handled the 1918 flu epidemic is relevant to today. Introduction Coronavirus infection rates continue to rise, with the number of new cases climbing in dozens of states and the U.S. reporting record numbers of cases on individual days. Hospitalization across the U.S. has dramatically jumped; some cities[…]

The Local Impact of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic in Philadelphia

This flu was different from others. It was especially brutal. By Jeffrey AndersonHistorian The Deaths Began The first reported death in Philadelphia during the 1918 pandemic occurred at the Naval Yard on September 11,1918, and the number of stricken military personnel quickly grew. Insufficient attention was paid. The United States was in the throes of the[…]

Philadelphia Threw a WWI Parade That Gave Thousands of Onlookers the Flu in 1918

The city sought to sell bonds to pay for the war effort, while bringing its citizens together during the infamous pandemic. By Kenneth C. DavisHistorian It was a parade like none Philadelphia had ever seen. In the summer of 1918, as the Great War raged and American doughboys fell on Europe’s killing fields, the City[…]