Influenza In Chicago Research Paper

461 Words2 Pages

Soon, the epidemic arrived in Chicago. On August 28, 1918, reports of the increased death rate in Massachusetts were reported in Chicago newspapers, warning citizens of the potential risk of the epidemic reaching them. Nationwide, military camps suffered mass outbreaks throughout September, and yet, the Chicago Tribune printed reassuring news stories that suggested the flu was under control. On September 8, 1918, the virus took its first victims of the city: sailors at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. Preventative measures were taken instantly. Quarantine controls were implemented at the station, in addition to treating the 50,000 sailors present with daily nose and throat sprays. Men were placed in isolation as soon as they showed mild symptoms, and all liberty leave was prohibited …show more content…

These actions proved effective, and it appeared that the Great Lakes station was through the worst of the epidemic. Officers announced that the rate of newly identified cases was decreasing by 10% every day. The city interpreted these calm reports to mean the city was not at great risk, and was lulled into a false sense of security (ROBERTSON: A REPORT ON AN EPIDEMIC OF INFLUENZA IN THE CITY OF CHI). On September 21, however, Chicago experienced the first significant rise in the death rate from influenza and pneumonia. The city of 2.7 million people sat vulnerable and unprotected. By September 30, the city reported 260 cases, prompting Chicago Health Commissioner John Robertson to quarantine all known cases at the Cook County Hospital. To account for the hospital inevitably filling to capacity, all other victims were told to go to their homes, refuse all visitors, and wait

Open Document