Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Spanish flu in United States in 1918

The epidemic affected the course of history and was a terrifying presence at the of World War I, killing more Americans in a single year than died in battle in World War I, World war II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

The second wave of influenza in the United States was triggered in the fall of 1918 by the return troops from Europe. It was appearing among a group of sailors who docked at the Commonwealth Pier in August. And then some of those sailors got sick. On August 28 eight men got the flu. The next day, 58 were sick. By day four, the sick toll reached 81. A week later, it was 119, and that same day t first civilian was admitted to Boston City Hospital sick with flu.

The flu hit Fort Devens, a stone’s throw from Boston. But when the first Fort Devens victim, a soldier of Company B, 42nd Infantry went on sick on the seventh, his illness was diagnosed as cerebrospinal meningitis. Later, overnight, Fort Devens became a scene out of hell.

The Surgeon General of the United States ordered Colonel Victor Vaughan, along with other leading physicians, to inspect and to evaluate conditions at Fort Devens. They were astounded to see for themselves that influenza was spreading like wildfire among the young soldiers.
Spanish flu in United States in 1918
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