Got the flu?

Credit: National Library of Medicine.

Credit: National Library of Medicine.

This winter’s flu season has been especially bleak and widespread, with residual symptoms lasting up to a month or more.  Back in 1918-1919, the Spanish Flu Epidemic hit the United States in three waves, and Salt Lake County had to take measures to try to hinder the spread of the illness.

In November of 1918, the Salt Lake County Physician received reports of 1,000 cases of the influenza, with a total of 48 deaths in just one month.  The entries below are from 1918 County Commission Minutes directing the public to wear masks, and that County offices should close early each day.

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Salt Lake County Commission Minutes, November 22, 1918.

Salt Lake County Commission Minutes, December 4, 1918.

Salt Lake County Commission Minutes, December 4, 1918.

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Salt Lake County Commission Minutes, December 18, 1918.

For more information, visit a great site created by the United States Department of Health and Human Services about the history of  The Great Pandemic in the United States, and for the history of the pandemic in Utah.   (Many images, including posters such as the “Prevent Disease” poster above, are featured on this site).

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