Cholera Outbreaks and Pandemics since 1817

Between 1816 and 1923, the first six cholera pandemics occurred consecutively and continuously over time. Introduction Seven cholera pandemics have occurred in the past 200 years, with the first pandemic originating in India in 1817. Additionally, there have been many documented cholera outbreaks, such as a 1991–1994 outbreak in South America and, more recently, the[…]

‘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[…]

Museums Preserve Clues That Help Scientists Predict and Analyze Pandemics

Genetic information that could help finger the next infectious threat is stored in museums around the world. Introduction In less than 20 years, communities around the globe have been hit by a string of major disease outbreaks: SARS, MERS, Ebola, Zika and now, COVID-19. Nearly all emerging infectious diseases in humans originate from microorganisms that[…]

We’re Never Far from Where We Were: The 1918 Flu Pandemic in Pictures

A little over a century ago, a different pandemic rattled the world when a third of the world’s population contracted the H1N1 influenza virus. A Dark Sense of Humor In this haunting photo, a man in Australia poses with a painted skull-and-crossbones on his mask. Straining the Medical System Military pathologists believe that a British[…]

Response to the Spread of the 1918 Flu in Washington, D.C.

Introduction The coronavirus pandemic has created what feels like an unprecedented situation in the District: Schools are closed, hospital workers are overwhelmed and the region’s iconic public spaces are empty. Coronavirus isn’t the first global health crisis D.C. has faced. During the 1918 influenza epidemic, the nation’s capital was one of the hardest-hit areas of[…]