The Spanish Flu - Response to the Influenza of 1918 Essay

The Spanish Flu - Response to the Influenza of 1918 Essay

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The Response to the Influenza of 1918

At the time, the Influenza of 1918 was called the Spanish Flu. Spain was not involved in the expanding great war (i.e., World War I) and therefore was not censoring it's press. However, Germany, Britain, and America were censoring their newspapers for anything that would lower morale. Therefore, Spain was the first country to publish accounts of the pandemic (Barry 171 and Furman 326), even though the pandemic most likely started in either France or the United States. It was also unique in it's deadliness; it “killed more people in a year than the Black Death of the Middle Ages killed in a century” (Barry 5). In the United States, the experience during the pandemic varied from location to location. Some areas were better off whereas some were hit horribly by the disease, such as Philadelphia. It also came as a shock to many, though some predicted it's coming; few thought it would strike with the speed and lethality that it did. Though the inherent qualities of the flu enabled its devastation of the country, the response to the flu was in part responsible as well. The response to the pandemic was reasonable, given the dire situation, but not sufficient enough to prevent unnecessary death and hardship, especially in Philadelphia.

In 1918, things were not going well for the United States in the influenza epidemic. The disease was spreading rapidly and killing many. The United States was also at war, and it was a struggle to keep fighting with the disease on their hands. Germany had also been affected by the disease, and it certainly caused them a great deal of trouble. But the suffering of Germany's army was not enough to alleviate America's difficulty in fighting the war. Influenza was ...

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...andemic: The Influenza of 1918. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1989. Print
Use: I will use this as an extra source to supplement The Great Influenza and get more detailed information about Philadelphia, as well as Sans Francisco if I feel it would be useful.

Furman, Bess. A Profile of the United States Public Health Service 1798-1948. District of Columbia: National Institutes of Health, 1973. Print.
Use: I will use this for background information on what was going on during the outbreak in the Public Health Service. I will also use it to help me see what I need to research in further detail.

"Will Shut Shops in South Phila. to Fight Influenza." Philadelphia Evening Bulletin [Philadelphia] 9 Oct. 1918: n. pag. Print.
Use: This is a long article detailing the ways or plans that the city of Philadelphia might use fight the influenza.

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