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

Headline: “Flu Situation is Some Better, Reports Show”

Source:  Spokane Daily Chronicle, October 26, 1918 pg. 1

Subject:  Fewer flu cases reported to health district.

Synopsis:  The health district has received only 33 new influenza cases for a total of 1993 cases.  Pneumonia cases have risen to 140 cases. Local banks are beginning to require that their employees wear flu masks. Because of the amount of cars outside of the influenza hospital, ambulances have been unable to drive up to the entrance. As a result, cars have been banned from parking in front of the hospital.

Notable Quotation:

• “‘The masks are a fine thing.’”

• “Ambulances carrying influenza patients to the hospital have been forced to discharge their loads several doors away.”

“Flu Situation is Some Better, Reports Show”

Fewer Cases Are Put on Books of Health Office During the Day.

            The influenza situation, according to reports to the health department, looks better than it has for some time. Up to 12 o’clock today only 33 new cases were reported to the authorities, and once case of pneumonia. This brings the total number of influenza cases actually reported up to 1903 and the pneumonia cases up to 140.

            One hundred sixty cases were reported yesterday, compared with [unreadable] Thursday, and eight cases of pneumonia yesterday, compared with 30 the day before.

            The Exchange National bank employe[e]s today adopted the plan of wearing influenza masks while they are on duty, and, according to reports, all the other banks are likely to follow suit.

            “The masks are a fine thing,” said Dr. Anderson, “where people are working indoors, but while out in the open air there is no great need for them. No doubt employe[e]s of the department stores and barber shops will be wearing them in the near future.”

Stop Parking at Hospital.

            So many automobiles have been parked in front of the emergency influenza hospital, S112 1/2 Lincoln street, in the last few days that Dr. Anderson was forced this morning to request an order from Chief of Police William Weir, that no cars be allowed to park in front of the hospital. Ambulances carrying influenza patients to the hospital have been forced to discharge their loads several doors away.