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

Headline: “66 Die in East From Influenza”

Source: Spokesman-Review, September 19, 1918, page 3

Subject: Influenza’s impact on the Eastern U.S.

Synopsis: In Boston and Norfolk, VA, naval men are continuing to be afflicted with influenza. Many communities have closed schools because of the epidemic. New York City has seen its first civilians contract influenza. Philadelphia has reported its first death, showing that the epidemic is moving west.

Notable Quotations:

• “At the headquarters of the United States shipping board recruiting service here, 12 deaths among marine apprentices this week were reported.”

• “One death of a school child, due to the disease, also was reported today, the first fatal case recorded by the school authorities.”

“66 Die in East from Influenza”

Naval Men Victims During Three Weeks – Cases Are Now Falling Off.

School Child Succumbs

Epidemic Continues to Spread to Towns Surrounding Boston – New York Hit.

            BOSTON, Sept. 18. – Naval reports showed a falling off in the number of new cases of influenza in the first district today, 146, as against 170 yesterday.

            It was announced that 66 deaths had occurred among naval men during the three weeks that the disease had been prevalent. At the headquarters of the United States shipping board recruiting service here, 12 deaths among marine apprentices this week were reported.

Schools Are Closed.

            One death of a school child, due to the disease, also was reported today, the first fatal case recorded by the school authorities. The epidemic continued to spread to surrounding towns and cities, and, in several communities schools were closed and other steps taken to combat it.

            Officials of the Boston Elevated Railways company said today that 165 motormen and conductors were ill with influenza and that the service was being maintained with difficulty because of their absence.

Civilians Stricken in New York.

            NEW YORK, Sept. 18. – The first five cases of Spanish influenza among the civilian population here were reported to the health commissioner today. Since the early part of July more than 100 cases have been reported, all previously among seamen and men employed in government service coming here from foreign ports.

150 Navy Men Hit.

            NORFALK [sic], Va., Sept. 18 – One hundred and fifty cases of Spanish influenza have developed among enlisted men at the Hampton roads naval base. Commander Bell, senior medical officer, announced today that a quarantine had been established.

            No fatalities have resulted so far.

Philadelphia Reports First Death.

            PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 18. – Spanish influenza claimed its first victim here today and the spread of the ailment among the sailors and marines of the Philadelphia navy yard was found to have so taxed the naval hospital that 150 beds in the city hospital were turned over to the government. It is estimated that there are 300 patients requiring beds and 500 others who are less seriously affected now being treated within the navy yard.