1918 Influenza Public Health Advisement Article


Let’s take a look back over 100 years ago to the last American pandemic, the dreaded yet forgotten “Spanish” Influenza of 1918 (a strain of the H1N1 or Swine Flu).

An estimated 675,000 people died (5% of the population) in the U.S. from flu in the fall of 1918 and winter of 1919.

Click on the Auburn Citizen article below and see what the press had to say about the eerily familiar disease.

A transcript is available below the article.

U. S. Public Health Service Begins Nationwide Health Campaign

Washington, D. C —In order to limit the spread of Spanish Influenza and keep It from making still further in-roads on the nation’s war production the U. S. Public Health Service under authority of the resolution just passed by Congress appropriating $1,000,000 to combat the disease has inaugurated a nation-wide campaign of public health education in co-operation with state and local health officers to teach the people of this country how to safe-guard their health, keep themselves physically fit and so help maintain the high standard of war production attained within the last few months.

Secretary McAdoo, under whose direction the work of the U. S. Public Health Service is carried on, is taking an active interest in the health campaign. Despite The tremendous demands on his time because of the Fourth Liberty Loan and the work of the Railroad Administration, he has personally asked the help of the nation’s newspapers in putting this important educational work before the people.

In response to a request for definite advice concerning Spanish Influenza surgeon General Rupert Blue of the U. S. Public Health Service has authorized-the following statement:

The disease now spreading over this country is highly catching and may invade your community and attack you and your family unless you are very careful.

Influenza Is a crowd disease. Therefore keep out of crowds as much as possible.

Influenza probably spreads mostly by inhaling some of the tiny droplets of germ-laden mucus sprayed into the air when ignorant or careless persons sneeze or cough without using a handkerchief. Therefore cover up each cough and sneeze.

Influenza is probably spread also by the filthy habit of spitting on sidewalks, street cars and other public places. Therefore do not spit on the floor or sidewalk.

Influenza is probably spread also by the use of common drinking cups and the use of common towels in public places. Therefore shun the common drinking cup and the roller towel in public places.

If you feel sick and believe you have “Spanish” influenza, go to bed and send for the doctor. This is important. Don’t get up too soon, your heart feels as tired as your legs and needs rest.

In all health matters follow your doctor’s advice, and obey the regulations of your local and state health officers.

All that has been said above about “Spanish” influenza is true also of colds, bronchitis, pneumonia and tuberculosis. Do your part to keep them away.” (END TEXT)