Nurse with Mask, National Library of Medicine

In September of 1918, three Auburn Red Cross Nurses volunteered to help Influenza victims in Syracuse, NY. A week later, two of the three had contracted the virus and returned to Auburn. Auburn Health Department Officer, Thomas C. Sawyer, was skeptical about the spread of the virus, chalking many reported cases to “old fashioned grip cases.” By the next day, seven cases of pandemic influenza were reported, although doctors were not required at this point to report incidents to the Public Health Department.

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