The climactic year of World War I was also famous (or infamous) for the flu pandemic that killed somewhere between 50 and 100 million people, including some 670,000 Americans.

Newspapers are already running 100-year anniversary pieces on the flu, but the first case identified as the flu didn’t occur until March 1 at Fort Riley, Kansas. Yet the accounts also say a first wave of the flu went through U.S. military camps in 1917.

Censors in the countries at war would suppress news of the pandemic, except in neutral Spain. The extensive coverage of the flu there made it seem especially bad, hence giving it the name “Spanish flu.”

In any event, stories about a flu pandemic are not showing in January’s stories. We’ll have to keep an eye out.

 

Chuck Martin: 740-397-5333 or cmartin@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews

 

 

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