Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Wow, here's the story of how the great flu epidemic of 1918 started in Boston:

One this day in 1918, two sailors housed at Boston's Commonwealth Pier reported to sickbay. The men were the first Americans stricken with a strain of influenza that would prove far more dangerous than the German army. By the end of the week, 100 new cases a day were being reported among the sailors at the pier. The disease spread with terrifying speed through both the military and civilian populations. In the next 24 weeks, the epidemic would affect more than 25,000,000 Americans. More than 675,000 would not survive the illness. The flu would take far more lives than the war then raging in Europe. Worldwide, between 50,000,000and 100,000,000 people would die before the epidemic abated in December. 

No disease in human history — including the Black Death (1347-1350) — caused so many fatalities.

In Boston, children jumped rope and sang:

"I had a little bird
And its name was Enza
I opened the window and

1 comment:

John Mc said...

Lost my great grandmother in this flu outbreak...