Spokane and the Nation: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919

Headline: “128 New Cases at Camp Lewis”

Source: Spokesman-Review, October 6, 1918, page 3

Subject: Influenza at Camp Lewis

Synopsis: During the previous week, Camp Lewis in Tacoma, WA, reported 128 new cases of influenza, along with 59 cases of pneumonia. Eleven soldiers died of the disease in the same period. Other diseases such as measles and mumps are also on the rise. The camp also reports a deficit of 5,000 soldiers from the previous week. For the last two weeks, at least 50 men a day have received promotions.

Notable Quotation:

• “Eleven deaths occurred this week, against 12 last week. Nine were due to pneumonia, one tuberculosis and one supperative meningitis.”

“128 New Cases at Camp Lewis”

Influenza Shows Gain During the Week, While Decrease in Pneumonia Is Noted.

11 Deaths Are Recorded

5000 Men Transferred to Other Points – Promotions at the Rate of 50 Daily.

            CAMP LEWIS, Oct. 5. – Influenza increased and pneumonia decreased this week in Camp Lewis, according to the weekly report of communicable diseases issued today by Captain V.L. Bishop, camp sanitary inspector.  According to the report, there were 128 cases of influenza during the week and 59 cases of pneumonia.  Last week there were 94 influenza case reported and 62 cases of pneumonia.

            Eleven deaths occurred this week, against 12 last week. Nine were due to pneumonia, one tuberculosis and one supperative [sic] meningitis.

            Measles show an increase. This week there were 19 cases, against but three last week.  There also was one case of German measles, 26 cases of mumps and one case of scarlet fever.  Only 11 cases of social diseases developed among the 36,570 men in camp, whereas 28 cases were discovered among but 359 men arriving here during the week.

5000 Fewer Men.

            The health report shows there are approximately 5000 fewer men here this week than when the report was issued last week. This was caused by the many transfers of troops during the week.  Some went to the coast artillery at Fort Stevens, Ore., to be distributed from there, others to Camp Fremont, Cal., and others to inland camps.

            During the week nearly 200 officers have arrived from various places for assignment to the 13th division, principally artillery.

Drafted Men Promoted.

            The week also was notable for the many promotions in camp both among officers and enlisted men.  It has been estimated that for two weeks at least 50 promotions daily have been made.  Many more promotions are promised within the next month.  A feature of these has been the rapid strides being made by men received in the most recent draft contingents arriving.