Idaho History May 17, 2020

Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic

Part 5

Idaho Newspaper clippings July 27 to Oct 17, 1918

Local newspapers carried stories of influenza before it arrived in Idaho.

1918Atlantic23-a
Convalescing influenza patients, isolated due to an overcrowded hospital, stay at the U.S. Army’s Eberts Field facilities in Lonoke, Arkansas, in 1918. National Archives

source: Alan Taylor April 10, 2018 “30 Photos of the 1918 Flu Pandemic” The Atlantic
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Mountain Home Republican, July 27, 1918, page 9

News Review of the Past Week

There have been many stories of the declining morale of the German troops, due partly to the prevalence of Spanish influenza, but it would be foolish to grow optimistic over these reports. The enemy Is still strong and can produce an amazing number of men, and confidence in our victory must be based on our growing strength rather than on his growing weakness. The stream of Americana across the Atlantic continues, although it may be they are not being sent so rapidly just now as in recent months. The war department recently decided that all men of the new drafts should be given six months’ training on this side.

source: Mountain Home Republican. (Mountain Home, Idaho), 27 July 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Shoshone Journal. September 27, 1918, page 6

Influenza Raging in Camps.

Washington. – Spanish influenza has made its appearance in at least 25 army camps over the country. The surgeon general’s office announced Monday that the total number of cases has Increased to 20,211, including 2225 new cases reported Monday.

source: source: Shoshone Journal. (Shoshone, Idaho), 27 Sept. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Daily Star-Mirror., September 27, 1918, page 1

19180927DSM1-headline

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26. — Because of epidemics of Spanish influenza in army camps, Provost Marshal General Crowder tonight cancelled call for the entrainment between October 7 and 11 of 142,000 draft registrants.

During the 24 hours ending at noon today 6139 new cases of influenza in army camps had been reported to the office of the surgeon general of the army. One hundred and seventy deaths, resulting chiefly from pneumonia, following influenza, and 723 cases of pneumonia also were reported.

Two camps, Kearney, Cal., and Eustis, Va., were added today to the list of those where influenza has made its appearance, leaving only 13 camps free from the disease. The total number of cases of influenza in all camps was placed at 35,146, with 3,036 cases of pneumonia. One out of every four men in Camp Devens, Mass., has contracted influenza, it was announced, and a number have developed into pneumonia.

In cancelling the call for the entrainment of the draft registrants early next month, General Crowder acted upon instructions from General March, chief of staff. Every state and the District of Columbia had been assigned quotas and the men were to have gone to practically all of the camps in the country. The men probably will not be entrained until after the influenza epidemic has been checked.

It was said at the office of the surgeon general of the army tonight that every possible precaution is being taken in all camps to check the spread of the disease, but despite all measures it is believed the disease will run its course and probably spread to still other camps. Additional physicians and nurses have been sent to camps where the epidemic is most severe.

The greatest number of new influenza cases, 1,007, was reported today from Camp Dix. While Camp Devens reported fewer new cases, pneumonia showed an increase there, 309 new cases and 83 deaths being reported.

Influenza is also on the increase among the civilian population, particularly in New England. The federal government has taken steps to cooperate with state and municipal authorities in combating the disease and medical and nursing units are being mobilized where the epidemic has gained great headway.
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19180927DSM2-headline

Robert Carithers, a Moscow boy, son of Vincent Carithers and nephew of Dr. W. H. Carithers, died of influenza at Camp Lewis Wednesday. A message bearing the sad news of the young man’s death was received by Mrs. W. H. Carithers yesterday, with the announcement that the body would be shipped here for burial.

Robert Carithers was about 20 years of age, and was one of Latah county’s most promising young men. He had been working at Tacoma and entered the service from there about two months ago. His mother died at this place several years ago, and the father is now in Arizona and will be unable to attend the funeral. Two brothers, Jay and Warner Carithers, will be here for the funeral. The time of holding the funeral has not yet been set.

source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 27 Sept. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Daily Star-Mirror., September 28, 1918, page 4

The so-called Spanish influenza, which is epidemic in some parts of the country, is said to be a good deal like the old-fashioned grippe, “only more so,” and is liable to develop into pneumonia. The fatalities among young and vigorous people are alarming. It is hoped that the disease will have lost some of its virulence before it becomes general in the west, but there is no certainty as to that. It may be here any time and everyone should be on his guard. People who keep their system in good order and keep dry and warm, are less likely to contract this, or any disease, and in case they do, are better able to withstand its ravages. People who contract the disease will do well to go home and get under the covers and send for the family physician. This has been shown in recent years to be the quickest, easiest and cheapest way of getting rid of the grippe, and it is the only safe procedure with the influenza. Also, the patient should isolate himself as much as possible from the rest of the family.

source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 28 Sept. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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American Falls Press. October 01, 1918, page 1

19181001AFP1-headline

Vaccination with a recently discovered serum, which from tests just completed at several army camps, has been found to be an almost positive preventative of contraction of pneumonia, will be used to combat the epidemic of Spanish influenza, which in the week ending Saturday, had made its appearance in every state and in all but a few of the army camps. causing many deaths.

Use of the vaccine will he widely adopted, congress, Saturday, having appropriated $1,000,000 to be used by the public health service in fighting Spanish influenza and other communicable diseases. The resolution carrying the appropriation offered in the house by Representative Gillett of Massachusetts, was adopted by a unanimous vote in both houses.

The public health service aided by the medical forces of the army and navy immediately took steps to render effective aid to all districts in which influenza has made its appearance. Nurses and physicians in large numbers will be dispatched to the affected states and training camps. The serum, which has been used to a limited extent in several camps but no announcement had been made of its discovery pending the results of widespread tests. Physicians connected with the army medical school developed the formula for the serum. which, it was stated, is now being manufactured in quantities sufficient to provide for the treatment of 50,000 patients daily. The serum is designed primarily to prevent pneumonia, which often follows attacks of influenza and which is the cause of practically all the deaths attributed to influenza.

source: American Falls Press. (American Falls, Idaho), 01 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Daily Star-Mirror., October 01, 1918, page 1

19181001DSM1-headline

WASHINGTON. – Surgeon General Blue of the public health service has made a telegraphic survey to determine the extent of Spanish influenza in the United States. General Blue has found there was a sharp outbreak at Fort Morgan, near Mobile, Ala., in August, and at about the same time a tramp steamer arrived at Newport News with almost the entire crew prostrated. Philadelphia reported a few cases four weeks ago, and a few have been reported from New York. The Boston outbreak was reported September 11, since when the epidemic has appeared at New London, while New Orleans has not wholly escaped.

People Stricken on Streets.

“The disease is characterized by a sudden onset,” said Dr. Blue to the Associated Press. People are stricken on the streets, while at work in factories, shipyards. offices, or elsewhere. First there is a chill, then fever with temperature from 101 to 103, headache, backache, reddening and running of the eyes, pains and aches all over the body and general prostration. Persons so attacked should go to their homes at once, get to bed without delay and immediately call a physician.

Treatment is Simple.

“Treatment under direction of the physician is simple, but important, consisting principally of rest in bed, fresh air, abundant food, with Dover’s powder for the relief of pain. Every case with fever should be regarded as serious and kept in bed at least until temperature becomes normal. Convalescence requires careful management to avoid serious complications, such as bronchial pneumonia, which not infrequently may have a fatal termination. During the present outbreak in foreign countries the salts of quinine and aspirin have been most generally used during the acute attack, the aspirin apparently with much success in the relief of symptoms.”

source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 01 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Challis Messenger., October 02, 1918, page 2

EPIDEMIC HALTS PROGRESS.

General Crowder Cancels Call for Entrainment of 142,000 Drafted Men.

Washington.— Because of epidemics of Spanish Influenza In army camps, Provost Marshal General Crowder on Thursday cancelled calls for the entrainment between October 7 and 11 of 142.000 draft registrants.

During the 24 hours ending at noon Thursday, 6139 new cases of influenza In army camps had been reported to the office of the surgeon-general of the army. One hundred and seventy deaths, resulting chiefly front pneumonia following influenza, and 723 new cases of pneumonia also were reported.

source: The Challis Messenger. (Challis, Idaho), 02 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Grangeville Globe. October 03, 1918, page 4

Geo. H. Anderson came in Sunday from Ferdinand where he has been working in the harvest. For the past week Mr. Anderson has been suffering from what he thought to be an attack of the Spanish influenza that is going over the country, but on visiting a physician he found that he had been poisoned from drinking impure water. After receiving treatment for a day or so he went on down to the Salmon river to his homestead, feeling much better.

source: The Grangeville Globe. (Grangeville, Idaho), 03 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Emmett Index. October 03, 1918, page 3

News of Our Soldier Boys

Interesting Letters from Our Boys at Home Camps and Abroad.

From “The Boy” August 25 – …

I suppose you remember me writing you this spring of the order that we had to take at least two baths a week, and that punishment was to be meted out to all who did not get their names on the bath report at least that often in one week. Well, everything has been changed now, and they say the hot weather is to blame for it all. At the present time they have established a guard at the bath room door to see that no one takes a bath at all, at all. Last week sometime the waterworks system gave out, because the well refused to give up its gold any more. Water has been so scarce that we have had to put an ambulance on the job to carry drinking water. For two weeks we haven’t been allowed to take a bath and from the looks of things it will probably be that much longer. Of course, the river is close and free to all who want to use, but who wants to take a bath when they don’t have to.

The last of the new buildings started a couple of months ago will be completed this week and the big new hospital will then be going full blast. But alas, ten new buildings have already been ordered and will be here in a short time and another large force will be detailed to put them up quickly. The past week has been the biggest week we have had. All the hospital beds are working double time and the patients who are not very sick or who are on the road to recovery, have been put in pup-tents on the hospital grounds. In fact, we have over 200 patients sleeping outdoors. A few weeks ago Major Clark told me that his ambition was to have a thousand patients, and now we have more than that by considerable. But the major is anything but a happy man, for he is kept on the go all the time trying to figure how to put four men in one bed. So far we have been able to take care of all who came, but our limit has certainly been reached and if many more come we will soon have to give up. The great increase of patients is not due to the big drive the allies are making, but to the immense number of soldiers that are arriving here every week from the States.

Sept. 4.–Last Friday an order came through that we would have to pay every patient in the hospital casual pay for August. As there are more than 1200 patients, and we had to get their names, make up the pay rolls, have them sign it, get it all O. K.’d by the paymaster and then pay the men and get a receipt from each one, it was a big job. We worked all Saturday night and by 7 o’clock the next morning had the payrolls ready for signature. The signed payrolls were delivered to the paymaster that morning about 9 o’clock and late that night we received the money. The men were paid early Monday morning.

Our hospital is still growing, due to the increasing number of soldiers passing through this camp from the states. The 10 new barracks arrived yesterday and two of them were completed today, and tonight they are filled with patients. How’s that for erecting two buildings 100 feet long, 30 feet wide and about 15 feet high?

We have a regular town here all of our own. I was up in the store room where Harvey Parks and Earl Graham work today and it certainly has the appearance of a country store. Buckets, pails and dusters adorn the ceiling; they have regular counters to wait on the trade and carry everything in stock, from groceries, crockery, hardware, drugs, linen, furniture, men’s furnishings (army style), stationery, typewriters and everything else you could possible imagine, with the possible exception of ladies’ ready to wear apparel, of which there is a great shortage. John Gamage will soon be the proud possessor of a three chair barber shop, up-to-date in every respect, and John is to be the head barber. If Old Man Gamage wants to see a real up-to-date place, crowded with customers all the time, he should see his son’s place of business.

We get out of the small town stuff when we come to the kitchen, with its six big ranges and the big stove where a dozen big 20-gallon pots of beans, coffee, soup or mulligan can be cooked at once. But it has to be a big kitchen that feeds more than 1500 men at one meal, and it only takes about two hours to feed the entire bunch.

The X-ray outfit is now almost installed and in a few days will be completed. The signal corps are now here bringing the electricity for the X-ray outfit and to light the hospital building, for Uncle Sam has installed an electric plant of his own in a neighboring town and is now busy stringing wires through this entire district. A short distance from here a bakery company holds sway over a big bake shop that puts out enough bread to supply every outfit in this locality — how much I wouldn’t dare say, but it would be sufficient to supply every bakery in the entire state of Idaho. And so it is throughout the entire list of everything needed for the equipment and comfort of a modern army. Everything here is on an immense scale and practically all are completed now. So at last we are almost ready for the beginning of the finish.

Ever since the 1st of September I have been thinking of the hunting season at home and have been wishing that I could be home this fall to take part in the sport with you and Dad, for after being out of the running for two seasons I certainly am getting homesick for the sight of Idaho ducks, quails, deer, etc. But for goodness sakes, don’t write and tell me of the fine times you are having this fall on hunting trips for I am afraid my poor heart wouldn’t stand the strain.

Major Clark leaves tomorrow to attend the big medical conference to be held in Paris this week and next, so for a few days we will be without his smiling face around the hospital. Floy has been under the weather the last few days. He has influenza. But he is able to be around now without his bones squeaking and will soon be in his usual form.

source: The Emmett Index. (Emmett, Idaho), 03 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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1918Atlantic22-a
An emergency hospital set up in Brookline, Massachusetts, to care for influenza cases, photographed in October of 1918. National Archives

source: Alan Taylor April 10, 2018 “30 Photos of the 1918 Flu Pandemic” The Atlantic
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The Emmett Index. October 03, 1918, page 4

Orders for men to entrain on October 9 for ramp Lewis have been cancelled and the men need not appear. Men who were to entrain for Camp Fremont on October 1 are also in-formed that they are not to report for entrainment on that date. These orders are believed to have resulted from the Spanish influenza epidemic which is in the cantonments.

source: The Emmett Index. (Emmett, Idaho), 03 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Rathdrum Tribune., October 04, 1918, page 1

Four hundred and eighty-seven men called to entrain from the state beginning October 7 for Camp Lewis were released from the call until further notice by Provost Marshal General Crowder Friday in a telegram to the adjutant general, advising that this was necessary because of the epidemic of Spanish Influenza, which has resulted in the establishment of quarantines at certain army camps.

source: The Rathdrum tribune. (Rathdrum, Idaho), 04 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Idaho County Free Press. October 03, 1918, page 1

19181003ICFP1-headline

Delay Due to Spread of Epidemic of Spanish Influenza in Army Camps

Entrainment of thirteen Idaho county men, who were to have been ordered to report in Grangeville the week of October 6, for induction into the army, has been indefinitely postponed, by order of the provost marshal general. The order, which was general to draft boards throughout the United States, was due to spread of the epidemic of Spanish influenza in army camps.

Strict orders have been issued because of the quarantine, in order that recruits may be kept from coming in contact with the disease.

The local draft board had notification card already to be mailed to the men called when the cancellation order was received, and the summonses have been held up, pending receipt of further word from Warrington. The list of men ordered to report for the next draft will not be published until the notification cards are mailed [to] the registrants.

A number of registrants of September 12 have been classified under the questionnaire system, but classification also has been suspended by government order, until results of the drawing at Washington, on Monday. last, are fully known. No classifications will be given out until work of classification is resumed.

The district appeal board recently acted on several eases appealed from Idaho county, granting pleas for deferred classification.

A call has been received by the adjutant general’s office in Boise for 155 men to join the spruce division at Vancouver Barracks, Wn. Of this number Idaho county is to furnish one man. The men are to be inducted for this work about October 14.

source: Idaho County free press. (Grangeville, Idaho Territory), 03 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Idaho Recorder. October 04, 1918, page 6

19181004IR1-headline

Washington, Sept. 28. – Spanish influenza continued to spread yesterday in army camps, 6,824 new cases having been reported to the office of the surgeon general of the army during the 24-hour period ending at noon. This was an increase of 685 over the new cases reported the day previously, and brought the total for all camps up to 42,367.

Pneumonia cases showed a slight decrease, 717 new cases being reported yesterday compared with 723 for the day previous. Deaths yesterday were 170, mostly from pneumonia.
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Six Cases in Montana.

Helena Sept. 28. – Spanish influenza has made its appearance in Montana, six cases being reported yesterday, and all Montana physicians are urged to report all cases coming under their observation to county health officers immediately.

Dr. E. D. Baker reported one case from Twin Bridges, and Dr. L R. Packard of Whitehall reported five cases there, which came direct from the Great Lakes naval training station at Chicago, one of the Whitehall patients having been visiting his brother, who was ill with the disease at the training station. The victims here have been isolated.

source: The Idaho Recorder. (Salmon City, Idaho), 04 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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1918Atlantic13-a
The U.S. Army 39th regiment wear masks to prevent influenza in Seattle in December of 1918. The soldiers are on their way to France. Everett Historical / Shutterstock

source: Alan Taylor April 10, 2018 “30 Photos of the 1918 Flu Pandemic” The Atlantic
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The Daily Star-Mirror., October 04, 1918, page 1

1,800,000 Americans Have “Gone Across.”

WASHINGTON. – American troops abroad now number 1,800,000, the house military committee was today informed at the war conference.

Spanish influenza is camps and cantonments will retard, somewhat, the shipments of the future, for the war department has adopted a policy of not sending any men overseas who have been exposed to the disease.

source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 04 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Daily Star-Mirror., October 05, 1918, page 1

Influenza Has Not Stopped Soldier Shipments.

WASHINGTON. — Despite Spanish influenza epidemic the embarkation of American troops is being continued at the rate of over 200,000 monthly, General March, chief of staff, announced today.

Total embarkations have passed the 1,850,000 mark. September shipments exceeded a quarter of a million although influenza cases in camps at home exceeded 100,000.

source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 05 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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American Falls Press. October 08, 1918, page 1

Influenza is reported to be ravaging the German army.
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1,850,000 U S. Soldiers Overseas

Despite the epidemic of Spanish influenza, embarkation of American troops Is being continued at the rate of more than 250.000 a month, Gen. March announced Saturday. The total embarked to date has passed the 1,850,000 mark. The September shipments were in excess of 250,000, although there we, more than 100,000 eases of influenza in camps at home.

The policy of the war department in sending overseas only men who have not had the disease and who have not been exposed to it has necessitated material readjustments of the shipping schedule but has not interfered with the total number embarked.

source: American Falls Press. (American Falls, Idaho), 08 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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Bonners Ferry Herald. October 08, 1918, page 2

Steve Garvey returned to Bonners Ferry Thursday evening after spending several months in the shipyards in Seattle, Tacoma and other coast points. Mr. Garvey states that he likes the shipyard work, but left the coast on account of the epidemic of Spanish influenza, which is prevalent there.
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40,000 Flu Cases in Chicago.

Chicago. Ill. — More than 1000 new cases of influenza with 37 deaths as well as 270 new cases of pneumonia with 64 deaths were reported to Chicago health authorities Saturday. it was estimated by the health department that there are from 40,000 to 50,000 cases of influenza and pneumonia now under treatment in the city.

source: Bonners Ferry Herald. (Bonners Ferry, Idaho), 08 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Daily Star-Mirror., October 08, 1918, page 3

Mrs. Alfred J. Lyons has received word that her husband is ill with Spanish influenza in a hospital at Mitchell Field, New York. Lieutenant Lyons’ condition is not serious, but he will be in the hospital for a week.
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19181008DSM2-headline

Owing to the present influenza epidemic the Red Cross department of nursing desires to get In touch with every graduate nurse, every woman who has had any training, every practical nurse, and every woman who has taken the training to be a nurse’s aid. The Red Cross offers to graduates $75.00 and expenses, and to undergraduates and aids from $30 to $50 with expenses, according to qualifications. Forward names and amount of training to Red Cross headquarters, Moscow or call Mrs. E. T. Baker, Phone 243.

source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 08 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Challis Messenger., October 09, 1918, page 6

Health Board Puts Ban on Kissing.

New York. — Persons who want to avoid the Spanish influenza,. or the common garden variety of of the same disease, were warned by the New York City department of health Friday not to kiss “except through a handkerchief.”

source: The Challis Messenger. (Challis, Idaho), 09 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Wallace Miner. October 10, 1918, page 5

19181010WM1-headline

In a conference at Chicago recently army, navy, city and state physicians prepared a general code of Instructions for the guidance of the public during the present epidemic of influenza. Their statement, including the instructions, follows:

We are confronted by an epidemic of influenza which will affect more than half of our population in all probability. There is a shortage of physicians, nurses and hospital accommodations. The health and efficiency of the civilian population must be maintained. It is the patriotic duty of every citizen to avoid influenza and keep in good health. To avoid Influenza:

Avoid contact with other people so far no possible. Especially avoid any crowds indoors, in street cars, theaters, motion picture houses and other places of public assemblage.

Avoid persons suffering from colds. sore throats and cough.

Avoid chilling of the body or living in rooms of temperature below 63 degrees or above 72.

Sleep and work in clean, fresh air.

Keep your hands clean and keep them out of your mouth.

Don’t Spit in Public Places.

Avoid expectorating in public places and see that others do likewise.

Avoid visiting the sick.

Eat plain. nourishing food and avoid alcoholic stimulants.

Cover the nose with your handkerchief when you sneeze, your mouth when you cough. Change handkerchiefs frequently. Promptly disinfect soiled handkerchiefs by boiling or washing with soap and water.

Don’t worry, and keep your feet warm. Wet feet demand prompt [attention.]

Oftentimes it is impossible to tell a cold from mild influenza. Therefore:

If you get a cold go to bed in a well ventilated room. Keep warm.

Keep away from other people. Do not kiss anyone. Use Individual basins and knives, forks and spoons, towels. handkerchiefs, soap, wash plates and cups.

Go to Bed Under Care of Doctor.

Every case of influenza should go to bed at once under the care of a physician. The patient should stay in bed at least three days after the fever has disappeared and until convalescence is well established.

The patient must not cough or sneeze except when a mask or handkerchief is held before the face.

He should he in a warm, well ventilated room.

There is no specific for the disease. Symptoms should be met as they arise.

The great danger is from pneumonia. Avoid it by staying in bed while actually ill and until convalescence is fully established. Wet clothes are dangerous and must be removed as soon as possible.

The after effects of influenza are worse than the disease. Take Care of yourself.

Strictly observe the state and city rules and regulations for the control of influenza.

source: The Wallace Miner. (Wallace, Idaho), 10 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Wallace Miner. October 10, 1918, page 6

Send for Bulletin on Spanish Influenza.

The surgeon general of the U. S. public health service has just issued a publication dealing with Spanish influenza, which contains all known available information regarding this disease. Simple methods relative to its prevention, manner of spread, and care of patients, are also given. Readers may obtain copies of this pamphlet free of charge by writing to the “Surgeon General, U. S. Public Health Service, Washington, D. C.”

source: The Wallace Miner. (Wallace, Idaho), 10 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Emmett Index. October 10, 1918, page 5

A letter received today from Will Hoppock requests that The Index be sent to him at Omaha, Neb., instead of Iowa. Mr. Hoppock and family expect to stay there this winter. He says there are 900 cases of influenza there and that schools, churches and all public gatherings have been prohibited.

source: The Emmett Index. (Emmett, Idaho), 10 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Daily Star-Mirror., October 10, 1918, page 3

Mrs. G. C. Ryan had a letter from her son Cecil at Camp Grant near Chicago, who says the influenza is very severe at that place, there being six thousand cases reported.
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There will be no prayer meeting at the Methodist church tonight owing to the fact that all public meetings have been prohibited because of the influenza scare.
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More Nurses Needed.

The Red Cross wants to reiterate its plea for more nurses at once to go to headquarters at Seattle. The terrible influenza epidemic which is raging everywhere and which has resulted in more than 100,000 cases in the army cantonments, calls for nurses. Applicants should apply at once to Red Cross headquarters in the federal building.

source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 10 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Rathdrum Tribune., October 11, 1918, page 2

The number of cases of Spanish influenza reported in U. S. army training camps had reached 190,000, before any check in the epidemic was noted. The disease is now spreading among the civilian population.

source: The Rathdrum Tribune. (Rathdrum, Idaho), 11 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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American Falls Press. October 11, 1918, page 1

One hundred and thirty-six deaths from pneumonia occurred at Camp Sherman, Ohio, between noon and 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon. The total deaths since the outbreak of influenza at the camp are 576.

source: American Falls Press. (American Falls, Idaho), 11 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Idaho Recorder. October 11, 1918, page 6

19181011IR01-headline

Washington, Oct. 5. — Spanish influenza continues its rapid spread both among the civilian population and in army camps. Reports yesterday to the public health service showed the disease had become epidemic in many more cities, while 12,975 new cases were reported among soldiers training in this country.

Besides the New England district, the disease has now reached epidemic proportions in New Jersey and also in parts of Pennsylvania, Maine, Delaware, Virginia and Alabama. Thus far 161 doctors and a large number of nurses have been ordered to report to public health service officials in charge of the situation in the different places where the disease is especially prevalent. An official of the service was sent to Trenton to take charge of the campaign in New Jersey.

There was no record to show the pneumonia and death rates among civilians but in army camps pneumonia cases dearly doubled, being 1,854 yesterday against 930 for the day previous. Deaths in army camps, however, decreased, being 331 compared with 390 the day before. The total number of influenza cases in the camps now is 127,975, pneumonia cases 10,429, and deaths 2,869.
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Boston Closed Town.

Boston, Oct. 5 — The Boston board of health in an effort to stop the spread of influenza, issued and order last night closing from midnight Sunday until further notice, all saloons, bowling alleys, pool rooms, billiard halls, slot machine parlors, soda fountains and auction rooms.

source: The Idaho Recorder. (Salmon City, Idaho), 11 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Idaho Recorder. October 11, 1918, page 1

19181011IR04-headlineThe startling report comes from Leslie Pollard of the naval academy at Annapolis that out of the total number of 1800 midshipmen there 1100 of them are under hospital treatment for Spanish influenza. One of the dormitories has been turned into use as an infirmary. There are no fatalities.

All over the east the malady Is more or less epidemic and general. Drastic action to stop Its ravages has been taken by health boards. That explains the action of the Idaho authorities in an order that came Wednesday evening from the state board of health to Dr. F. S. Wright, health officer of Lemhi county, directing him to enforce through the police officers of the county a general closing of all places of public assembly excepting the schools.

Sunday schools will not be effected by the closing order now In force.

source: The Idaho recorder. (Salmon City, Idaho), 11 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Meridian Times., October 11, 1918, page 2

Spanish Influenza in Utah.

Salt Lake City. — One death in Ogden and four deaths of Utahans in various cities and army camps of the country were attributed Friday wholly to or resultant from Spanish influenza. Reports have reached city and state health officials of the presence of the disease in Salt Lake, Ogden, Murray, Midvale, Farmington and several other communities.

source: The Meridian Times. (Meridian, Idaho), 11 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Idaho Republican. October 15, 1918, page 2

To Battle With Influenza.

Red Cross Will Mobilize Nursing Personnel and Furnish Supplies.

Washington. — The following telegram, which is self-explanatory, relates to the emergency medical and nursing relief work furnished through the United States public health service to communities unable to cope with the present situation even with state aid:

“To all State Officers:

“Public health service will mobilize with aid volunteer medical service all outside medical aid required in combating present influenza epidemic. Red Cross upon specific request from this service will mobilize nursing personnel and furnish necessary emergency hospital supplies which cannot be obtained otherwise. Inform all city and county health officers your state that all appeals for aid must be made to state health department, which will make request of surgeon general, public health service, whenever local needs require. Whenever necessary public health service will establish district officers to cooperate with state officials and distribute medical and nursing personnel.

(Signed) BLUE, Surgeon General, U. S. Public Health Service.”

source: The Idaho Republican. (Blackfoot, Idaho), 15 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Idaho Republican. October 15, 1918, page 7

Fighting Influenza.

Washington. — In its fight to stop the spread of Spanish influenza, the public health service is investigating the causes of the disease, the conditions which promote its spread and the part played by carriers in epidemics of the malady.

source: The Idaho Republican. (Blackfoot, Idaho), 15 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Daily Star-Mirror., October 16, 1918, page 4

Albert Oglesby, of Moscow, is in receipt of the following letter from his brother, George, who is in the training station at Seattle. His letter follows:

Seattle, Wash., Oct. 13. — Dear brother: How are all the folks? I am well now. I had the influenza for 14 days but I didn’t have it very hard I just had a light attack of it, most all of the camp here had it but it is just about gone now but there is about 10,000 cases in Seattle so we can’t get out of camp now for about two weeks. I am in the carpenter gang now but I haven’t worked any yet but I think I will start to work Monday. I rate liberty every night and don’t have to answer roll call until eight o’clock in the morning and don’t have to drill any. Just do carpenter work. I heard they had the influenza there in Moscow. Have any of you got it yet? It isn’t bad if you start doctoring it right away. Some of the boys got the demonia [sic] with it and died here in camp for they did not take care of themselves. I think I will get a furlough for about five days after this is over in camp and come home. I got a letter from Alfred and he said he had the influenza too, but was over it now. All the army camps have got it to camp Lewis quarantined. We are under restriction in this camp so we can’t go down town. The major done it to keep the boys from going to the shows. Well I guess I had better close for this time, hoping to hear from you soon, as ever, your brother,

George Oglesby, U. S. N. Training Sta., Art. Seattle, Wash.
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Miss Nola Oglesby, of 404 East Lewis street, Moscow, has received the following letter from her brother, Alfred, who is at Pensacola, Florida

U. S. Naval Air Sta., Sqd. No. 3,
Pensacola. Florida, Sept. 28.

Dear Sister: How are you and all the folks getting along? I have been sick for the last week with the influenza. but I think that I’m over it now, for I feel a whole lot better than I did. They got about five or six hundred of the boys in the hospital with influenza, but I didn’t go, but I should be there, I guess, although I hate the thoughts of going. Don’t think I’ll have to now, for all that bothers me is my head aching all the time, but that will quit pretty soon, I hope, for it is not bad today. Is Albert still at the brickyard, and how is he getting along?

So George was called to duty. I got a letter from him the other day and he said he was getting along fine and that he would change to carpenter’s mate, for it was better pay than the rating he is getting now.

Well, I think I had better quit for this time, hoping to hear from you soon.

As ever, your brother ALFRED.

source: The Daily Star-Mirror. (Moscow, Idaho), 16 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Emmett Index. October 17, 1918, page 5

In a communication from Miss Hazel Morrow, a graduate nurse of Johns Hopkins Medical College, who has been stationed at Camp Funston for some time, she states that among medical authorities great credit is giver, Major W. H. Tukey for the success with which the epidemic of Spanish influenza has been handled at Camp Funston and Fort Riley.

source: The Emmett index. (Emmett, Idaho), 17 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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The Nezperce Herald., October 17, 1918, page 2

That authorities suggest this influenza epidemic has been sent broadcast in the country by German hired agtnts [sic] — and it is so typically German in its vicious action that the suggestion strikes one forcibly.

That now they tell us the Spanish Influenza comes straight from the Orient. A name has not much significance. For instance, we have learned that German Kultur, despite its name, came straight from the devil.

source: The Nezperce Herald. (Nezperce, Idaho), 17 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
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1918Atlantic18-a
Graves of U.S. soldiers who died of influenza in Devon, England, photographed on March 8, 1919. The graves contain the bodies of 100 American wounded soldiers at Paignton Military Hospital that died from the epidemic of influenza that spread over England. National Archives

source: Alan Taylor April 10, 2018 “30 Photos of the 1918 Flu Pandemic” The Atlantic
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Further Reading

The Dr. Fauci of the 1918 Spanish Flu

TuttleFauci

by Alex Knapp Forbes Magazine

More than a century ago, epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Tuttle prescribed face masks and social distancing to slow the influenza pandemic. He made a lot of enemies — but it worked.

In January 1919, Washington’s health commissioner urged legislators in the state capital, Olympia, to enforce strict measures against the spread of the Spanish flu, which had just ended a deadly second wave in America. Recommended restrictions included banning dances and other social gatherings, as well as limits on how many people could attend public meetings and how far apart they should sit from one another. Both the city and county voted against those measures. In response, the commissioner sought to get the State Board of Health to enforce its police powers against the county.

Instead, he lost his job.

A public health official getting fired over unpopular social distancing measures during a pandemic has an eerie echo today, when business leaders and politicians are chafing against restrictions urged by authorities to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. But it was precisely these restrictions that enabled Seattle and other cities in Washington to protect themselves from the Spanish flu—and similar actions helped Kansas abate another influenza wave in the fall of 1919.

At the center of public health efforts in both states was a practical, plainspoken, bespectacled scientist: Dr. Thomas Dyer Tuttle, who became a powerful, if polarizing, figure in the fight against the Spanish flu—not unlike Dr. Anthony Fauci is perceived today, in the battle against COVID-19.

Apart from the passing physical resemblance, both Dr. Tuttle and Dr. Fauci fought global pandemics late in their long public health careers and the perilous balance of science and sociology that entails. Both men attended Ivy League medical schools. Both were commissioned officers in the United States Public Health Service. And both had experience fighting previous epidemics. Fauci first came to prominence in the 1980s as the leading HIV/AIDS researcher for Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. For Tuttle, it was a resurgence of smallpox at the turn of the 20th century.

Tuttle was born in Fulton, Missouri, in 1869. He was the son of a grocer who had married into wealth—his mother’s family, according to a local history, had a home encompassing about a quarter of a city block. He received his bachelor’s degree at local Westminster College (where Winston Churchill would deliver his famous “Iron Curtain” speech some 56 years after Dr. Tuttle had graduated). Tuttle then moved to New York City in 1889 to obtain a medical degree at what was then known as Columbia College.

During that first year of medical school, he unwittingly found himself in the midst of one of the deadliest flu pandemics, the so-called “Russian flu,” which had killed tens of thousands in Europe that fall and arrived in New York in December. That flu would end up causing more than 2,500 deaths in New York before subsiding in February 1890.

1918WashingtonSoldiersQuarantine

captions: Battle Ready in 1918: Soldiers under quarantine in Washington state during the Spanish flu and Red Cross volunteers sewing masks. (Washington State Historical Society, Gregg Courtwright Collection)

1918RedCrossMasks

After graduating from Columbia in 1892, Tuttle worked at New York’s Mount Sinai hospital. He later returned to Missouri, where he married his wife, Lucile, in 1896. A few years later, the couple moved to Montana where Tuttle pursued a medical career and became Secretary and Executive Officer of the state’s Board of Health in 1903.

1909SmallpoxClippingIt was in this role that Dr. Tuttle first learned to value science over unpopular public opinion. In 1909, Tuttle made headlines in local Montana newspapers—ironically, by coming out against quarantines—much to the consternation of the public. Smallpox had ravaged the population in the early 1900s, but Dr. Tuttle’s reasoning behind the order was that lifting quarantines would encourage people to vaccinate. (In 1905, the Supreme Court case Jacobson v. Massachusetts upheld states’ authority to require smallpox vaccinations in the interest of public health.) Tuttle and the state’s Board of Health had promoted mandatory smallpox vaccinations by offering them free of charge and by circulating a Tuttle-penned pamphlet touting their benefits. Those instructions included sharp words for the anti-vaxxers of the day:

“It is the firm belief of the author that the most effectual way to rid this country of smallpox would be to give a few months warning, in order that all might have time to be successfully vaccinated,” Dr. Tuttle wrote. “And then let any cases of smallpox that might appear go at large, without disinfection, so that those who would not be vaccinated might have the disease and be done with it. Such a move would result in a radical ‘change of heart’ on the part of many, if not all, ‘anti-vaccinationists.’”

In 1915, with smallpox under control in America, Dr. Tuttle accepted a new position as health commissioner of Washington. Three years later, in July 1918, the Spanish flu reached the state. The first set of infections hit the Army’s Camp Lewis, where more than 300 cases were reported. As summer went on, the number of cases appeared to decline and the “alarm went down,” says historian Gwen Whiting.

But the numbers started to creep up again in September, and public health officials became concerned about a second wave. The state’s Board of Health met in late September specifically to discuss concerns over the flu, and after the meeting Tuttle spoke to a newspaper to warn citizens that the flu would return. Because of limitations on the state Board of Health’s authority, Dr. Tuttle wasn’t able to enforce many orders until November, says Whiting. But he did use his position to encourage local officials to announce stringent measures to contain the pandemic in early October.

Dr. Tuttle, who lived in Seattle, worked closely with the local health commissioner, Dr. J.S. McBride, to manage the trajectory of flu cases. Alarmed by hundreds of hospitalized cases of flu in the nearby Naval training station, Tuttle declared that the Spanish flu had arrived in the city. Both McBride and Seattle’s mayor, Ole Hanson, acted quickly in response—taking advice from Dr. Tuttle.

SeattleMasksHeadline

On October 5, 1918, Mayor Hanson laid out his measures to curb the epidemic in Seattle. “He closed the churches. He shut down public places. They even raised fines for spitting on the sidewalk,” explains Whiting. “You could be fined if you weren’t wearing a mask to get on the streetcar. All of these strict restrictions were put into place in Seattle. And other cities followed suit.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Tuttle took to the newspapers to spread health advice — sending letters to the press statewide, proclaiming that the flu might be prevented from becoming epidemic with “the earnest, conscientious and intelligent help of every citizen of the State” following a now-familiar set of precautions: Don’t sneeze or cough in your hands, keep away from crowds, and stay at home if you have any symptoms.

As with the COVID-19 pandemic, the response to Spanish flu in Seattle, Spokane and other Washington cities had parallels across the country. New York, St. Louis and Los Angeles also saw success through the use of austere public health measures, while cities such as San Francisco and Philadelphia were less restrictive and saw increased flu deaths as a result. But those higher mortality rates are also due, in part, because the severe measures simply weren’t popular. Even in Seattle, “there was a lot of protest” over public health restrictions, says Whiting.

Although Dr. Tuttle gave advice to local authorities behind the scenes, he tended to act more pragmatically as the flu progressed. He never issued a statewide lockdown, for example, because the U.S. Surgeon General had advised against it. He also lifted a statewide order to wear masks in public after Armistice Day in November 1918 — partly because citizens weren’t adhering to it anyway. The end of World War I also saw an easing of health restrictions in Seattle. But it came at a cost. In early December, the flu came back. Although this time, rather than ban public gatherings, people exposed to influenza were ordered to remain in their homes.

That month, Dr. Tuttle traveled to Chicago for a national conference of the American Public Health Association dedicated to combating the disease, and that meeting appears to have hardened his resolve to be even more aggressive. Tuttle may have been pragmatic earlier in the epidemic, but he began to be more publicly exasperated at the lack of enforcement of public health laws. Tuttle’s frustrations pepper reports he prepared after this period, and he was later described by a contemporary as belonging “to that old-fashioned school of citizens who believe laws and regulations were made to be enforced.”

Such a resolute attitude likely cut short his position as health commissioner in Washington. The restrictions Dr. Tuttle was trying to enforce were “pretty controversial ideas at the time,” says Whiting, “so he made a lot of enemies.”

After being ousted from Washington, Dr. Tuttle moved to Kansas, where he accepted a position as Epidemiologist for the State Board of Health. In that role, he began to fear another influenza epidemic would appear in the state by the fall of 1919 and minced no words in encouraging the public to follow public health guidelines.

KansasNewsClippings
caption: The Cold War: To warn Kansans of the perils of another Spanish flu wave, Dr. Tuttle took his message to the local papers.

“Those who buried their dear ones last winter should certainly lend every effort to prevent others facing a similar loss,” Dr. Tuttle wrote in a Topeka paper on September 11, 1919. He also wrote letters to county health commissioners, urging strict enforcement of quarantines. Though not considered part of the Spanish flu pandemic, Kansas did see a high level of influenza cases in the winter of 1919-20, and Dr. Tuttle did his best to ensure local communities were prepared.

Despite the work he had done to save lives in Washington and Kansas, it’s clear that Tuttle was pessimistic about his country’s ability to prepare for the next pandemic. “As a matter of fact, we know about as little with regard to the etiology and epidemiology of influenza today as we knew two years ago,” he wrote in one report, “and owing to the inclination of our government (city, county, state and national) to provide funds for operating only when sickness is present, and to absolutely cut off any support whatsoever for the study of the epidemiology of the disease after an epidemic has passed, renders it very probable that we will meet our next epidemic (probably 20 or 30 years hence) with as little knowledge of the true nature of the disease as we had when we confronted the epidemic in the fall of 1918.”

Two years later, Tuttle resigned his role in Kansas, citing a need for a bigger salary so he could afford to pay for his son’s college education. In its biennial report, the Board of Health lamented his departure and urged that the legislature increase the salary for the role in order to secure “a man of the quality and training Kansas desires.”

His next job took Dr. Tuttle back to Montana to start a veterans hospital at Fort Harrison, which still exists today. He later moved to Chicago to practice medicine. In 1933, he and his wife retired to San Diego, where Dr. Tuttle spent his golden years gardening — on the 1940 census, he wryly noted his occupation as “orchidist” with an income of zero—before passing away in 1942.

Nearly 80 years after Dr. Tuttle’s death, his legacy in fighting pandemics lives on, which might have come as a surprise to him, given the pessimism he expressed in his lifetime. In 2009, a group of researchers wrote a paper comparing existing CDC guidelines on managing pandemics to those developed during the Spanish flu. The paper noted that of all the recommendations, measures Dr. Tuttle promoted—encouraging the closing of public spaces and social distancing—were still relevant in fighting epidemics today. The report even cited findings from the 1918 December meeting Dr. Tuttle attended before insisting on the draconian health measures that got him fired.

One of the coauthors of that 2009 paper?

Dr. Anthony Fauci.

source: Forbes
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1918 Spanish Flu historical documentary

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Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 1)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 2)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 3)
Link to Idaho 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic (Part 4)