New York Better Protected From Influenza Epidemic

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New York Better Protected From Influenza Epidemic NEW YORK--These past few warring years have left the nations of the world in various stages of devastation and destruction, and the world population has been decimated by battles and disease. Here, in New York, we definitely see the outcomes of the war on the economy and industry, and unfortunately, the citizens of New York are also not safe from the deadly Spanish influenza epidemic that has been sweeping the globe. Even though the New York Times reported on August 15, 1918, that there is "no quarantine here against influenza," that was an overly optimistic report. Now the Great War is coming to an end and the Allies are getting closer and closer to victory against the Germans. Even though war casualties hit many Europeans countries hard, something else is spreading around the globe that is leaving behind a much greater trail of casualties. The influenza of the season is a much stronger strain than the one that usually feels like a common cold, and it shows a strange pattern of morbidity. Usually influenza kills infected people who are elderly or young children. The influenza strain of 1918, however, is making victims of people between 20 and 40 years old. As The New York Times reported early in the year German troops fell sick with influenza. This Spanish influenza that affected the troops is called so because it originally affected millions in Spain. Many articles in The New York Times discussed the possibility of the influenza spreading to American and Allied troops through contact with other troops through No Man's Land, but hopes were high that the Americans would not be affected because they were strong and not undernourished. These proved to be false hopes, and now Americans, British and French alike are affected by the Spanish influenza. Here at home in New York, in September of 1918, the Health Commissioner of New York City announced that there was no danger of an epidemic in New York City and people should not worry. Only a few days later in October 1918, more than 800 New Yorkers died in a single day. The Spanish influenza first reached epidemic proportions in Boston earlier this year and then it affected our great New York. What is truly frightening about this horrible epidemic is that people are dying very quickly from the flu.

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