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Influenza epidemic slowed in 1918, then revived | News, sports, work




The son—Okey and Maggie Hall were married for 12 years when the Spanish flu was outbreak and had no children. Perhaps having to stay on the farm during the Spanish flu in November 1919, their only child, Harry E. Hall, the father of Alan Hall, was born.


(Editor’s Note: Alan Hall, the Honorary Director of the Public Library in Steubenville and Jefferson County, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio State Library, has two parts on the impact of the 1918 Spanish flu on our community. He reviewed the arrival of the flu and measures taken by the city authorities to help stop the spread on Sunday, with the series ending today.

By the fall of 1918, what was known as the Spanish flu, had seized the Steubenville area.

The recently completed unfinished third floor of the recently opened Ohio Valley Hospital in Pleasant Heights has become a ward for influenza patients who have not been able to care properly at home.

An estimated 125 patients received care at any time while maintaining the ward until February 1919.

The city’s health department had ordered the city to shut down to stop the spread of the flu. Subsequently, all salons, pools, billiard halls and bowling alleys were closed, prompting them to avoid crowded elevators and use of local trams.

The story was shared in George Mosel’s 1964 book. “Through the rearview mirror.”

He writes, “Dr. Curtis Laughlin stood on the porch, turned the over collar down and put on a cotton mask on his face. In the fall of 1918, this was the situation when the Spanish flu hit towns and countries. A sudden lightning strike, his brother Don was fine in one day, planning his funeral three days later, and Dr. Laughlin and other doctors worked 24 hours a day. The funeral was a (terrible) incident. A handful of blinders, quietly standing around the minister, six brave pole bearers, all unmasked. “

The outbreak appeared to have slowed down in early November, and some reopenings had taken place, but all were closed again as virus cases began to surge again. The school remained closed until the end of 1918, and things started slowly resuming as the new year of 1919 emerged. The pandemic was not over as new cases were reported daily in the New Year, and even in the spring, father and son Jesse Edward Speaks and James Speaks died in April.

On November 19, 1918, Carnegie Steel at Mingo Junction, “Plant Hospital” Helps treat men working in factories and their families.

Mr. Weir, DW Weirton Steel’s Vice President, warned that men who had to leave the company did not need to worry and that former employees could return to work if their health improved. did.

Globally, it is estimated that approximately 25 million people died of Spanish flu between March 1918 and the fall of 1920. It is estimated that deaths in the United States alone range from 500,000 to 625,000. This compares to 69,800 deaths from Asian flu in 1957-58 and 33,800 deaths from Hong Kong flu in 1968-69.

According to a report released by the Steubenville Health Commission, the number of deaths between October 1, 1918 and February 1, 1919 was 208, with similar deaths in Jefferson County. These figures included not only influenza pneumonia, but also flu deaths, but the report warned that other deaths could be due to flu, but could not be documented . Deaths spanned all ages, from under 1 to over 70.

Large cities in Ohio have experienced more mortality than rural areas. In 1918, Cleveland, Ohio’s largest city, experienced as many hospitalizations as Toledo. Military camps experienced large losses of men early in the pandemic.

Early Ohio epidemics and illnesses were documented by Dr. Samuel P. Hildress (1763-1863). He collected the information and carefully kept 182 books and records for research, even after about 150 years. Cholera emerged from India in 1817 and was a matter of course at a frontier that followed trade routes around the world. From 1849 to 50, Steubenville suffered from smallpox and cholera, and several inhabitants died daily during the illness

Diphtheria remained on the frontier of Ohio until the end of the year in the 1920s with improved water and sanitation. The last case of smallpox in the United States occurred in 1949. The TB hospital was closed by the 1960s, when scarlet fever slowed down in 1924 with the discovery of a drug to address it and treatment became effective. The last polio case in the United States was documented in 1979, but new cases continue in other parts of the world.

With the emergence of the coronavirus, I remembered the story of my 1918 Spanish cold grandmother. Grandma Maggie lived with us. One day, she took her home from school with a permit to permit smallpox vaccination. school. Grandma shouted, “Oh, yes, you certainly want it. I got infected with the Spanish flu in ’18!” At that time she would have been 35, and she had married my grandfather, Okey, and they lived (along with a horse team) on the farm where he was a team star.

Grandma said they were lucky to be on the farm because they were somewhat self-sufficient and did not have to come to the metropolis (Marietta). “The disease was everything.” She acknowledged that Oakey could sneak into New Matamoras with their new Ford Model-T for the supplies they need, and that their dairy cows provided money for those. She said that from October 1918 to February 1919 it was a long five months before things settled down, and it was winter anyway so that people wouldn’t come and go again in winter.

My grandparents were lucky to have Dr. Harry E. Dixon. He traveled to visit the house and sometimes picked up his aunt Maggie to serve as his nurse on his home visit. So the whole family received a lot of advice from personal health care and doctors during the Spanish flu.

Oakie and Maggie were married for 12 years and had no children when the Spanish flu outbreak occurred. Perhaps as a result of having to stay on their farm during the Spanish flu in November 1919, their only child was born and named after their nephew, a doctor. His name was Harry E. Hall and he was my father (1919-2005).

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