Casualties of 1918 Flu Epidemic

More than 500 million people worldwide are said to have been affected by the influenza pandemic.  In other words, 27% of the world’s population was infected.

The estimations vary about how many died during this time, but historians believe the Spanish flu or flu epidemic of 1918 claimed between 50 to 100 million people. One reason it is so difficult to pin down, is because the disease often led to pneumonia which also claimed lives.

The disease killed in every area of the world.

One source stated the pandemic reduced a person’s lifespan by twelve years.

Here are a few articles about the epidemic from the Newberry Herald Times:

Oct. 1, 1918    Board of health ordered all churches, Sunday schools, schools, picture shows, and pool rooms closed for two weeks due to influenza ….and the college as to all students outside the campus

Oct. 4, 1918    1000-1500 cases in town and suburbs; doctors and druggists working overtime ; death rate comparatively small and from pneumonia ; take to bed, take care of self, don’t undertake too much too soon, plenty of fresh air, do not congregate—need more doctors, visiting a hundred homes a day, never seen such crowds in drug stores for prescriptions—doctors needed, both mills tried to secure but unable—many clerks taken to beds,

Oct. 8, 1918—Dr. W. E. Pelham, Jr died from flu, he was so useful and young it seems a strange dispensation of providence; spread to the country districts; telephone exchange cut short  due to sickness of operators; people forbidden to congregate in stores; mills shut down rest of week;

Oct. 11, 1918—entire nation swept with the flu; 10,000 cases in South Carolina

Oct. 22, 1918; p. 2—ambulances and hearses running all day and night in Greenville; Dr not seeing patients or letting know why

Nov. 1, 1918—quarantine placed for another week; churches opened so people can come together in prayer

Nov.26—flu epidemic in Laurens; all public places closed until first of the year

So, how did the Spanish influenza end?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.