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The 1918 Spanish Flu

01 Nov 1918, Washington, DC, USA — A nurse takes a patient’s pulse in the influenza ward at Walter Reed Hospital, Washington D.C., November 1, 1918. — Image by © CORBIS

One hundred years ago, the 1918 Influenza Pandemic affected the entire world. While the true number of deaths is unknowable, the most commonly accepted estimates range between 20-40 million victims.  Beginning with the spring of 1918, there were some local soldiers dying at military bases around the US, and by the autumn of 1918 the disease arrived in Pennsylvania with a vengeance. Of the 231,000 residents of Westmoreland County at that time, over 41,000 were infected with approximately 1,300 estimated deaths.

Westmoreland Library Network member libraries will host Professor Tom Soltis from Westmoreland County Community College as he explores the arrival, spread, and impact of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Westmoreland County.  Find a program near you.