The Spanish Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919: The Spokane Experience

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Eastern Washington University, 2008 - Epidemics - 172 pages
"This study considers the experience of a small Pacific Northwest city during the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918-1919. There is a hole in the literature on the Spanish influenza, as until recently researchers have mainly focused on the epidemic in the military and cities of the East Coast, along with San Francisco. How the influenza epidemic played out in other places is not included in studies of the epidemic other than providing mortality statistics. The story of influenza in the United States has been built mainly on examining a few East Coast cities and one West Coast city. As a result, studies that focus on other areas such as the Pacific Northwest are important in order to expand our knowledge. This study fills the gap in knowledge of how the epidemic affected Spokane, Washington. This research asked the following questions: Why did the Spokane response to the Spanish influenza epidemic take the form it did? How does the Spokane experience illuminate the variability of and similarities within the U.S. experience of the influenza epidemic? To answer these questions other questions needed to be addressed first. What happened in the world and the United States during the Spanish influenza epidemic? What happened in Spokane? How did Spokane respond to the epidemic? This study focuses on Spokane's public health response, as this information was the best documented. The responses were viewed through the perspective of political economy, which considers the importance of politics and economics during the epidemic"--Document.

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