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Thursday, December 13, 2018  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Spanish flu comes roaring back

The Spanish flu, which city health officials thought in recession, came back with a vengence, wth 200 new cases in two days. (Spokesman-Review archives)
The Spanish flu, which city health officials thought in recession, came back with a vengence, wth 200 new cases in two days. (Spokesman-Review archives)

The Spanish flu made an alarming comeback in Spokane, with 200 new cases in the last two days. The death toll rose to 231.

City health officer Dr. J.B. Anderson blamed the city’s public gatherings around Thanksgiving – as well as the victory celebrations that still continued – for the worsening situation.

“Keep away from crowds,” he said. “Influenza is a crowd disease. The present increase should convince the most skeptical that the gatherings of the Thanksgiving week have been dangerous. As long as there were no crowds, the disease was controlled, but then the crowds began to gather again, the epidemic started upgrade. … As long as unnecessary crowds gather in Spokane, there will be influenza here until March at least.”

Despite these ominous signs, Anderson said he was not reinstating the ban on public gatherings. But he warned that he would not hesitate to bring back the quarantine in the future, if necessary.

From the hospital beat: A patient at the city’s emergency flu hospital leaped from the window of her third floor room and landed on the ground far below. Her fever had apparently brought on a fit of delirium.

She somehow survived and was rushed to Sacred Heart Hospital where she remained in serious condition.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1890: The first Army-Navy football game was played at West Point, New York; Navy defeated Army 24-0.


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