Evansville's small claim to fame in the 1918 Great Pandemic & a tip for 2009 flu clinics in Evansville

by SuDocQueen@evpl on Tuesday, November 10 2009, 3:07pm. Viewed 1,094 times.

Thanks to a very interesting question today, I discovered a surprising fact.  Evansville was involved in Indiana's first official report on the Spanish influenza.  According to http://1918.pandemicflu.gov/your_state/indiana.htm, in the "first official report from the state...officials reported that an epidemic had developed in Evansville beginning in the last week of September."  By October, "state officials were forced to admit that 'the disease has been reported from a number of places' in the state," but Evansville carries the distinction of being the first city in Indiana to be officially stricken with the epidemic.  I don't know whether you consider that good or bad, but I certainly found it surprising to learn that our city had a specific place in the history of the Great Pandemic.

I also found the website fascinating.  Coming from The Office of the Public Health Service Historian, the site offers a good overview of the Pandemic in the United States -- be sure to always click on "more"; each general topic only shows the tip of information being offered.  One can get a snapshot picture of average life in the US in 1918 as well as detailed information on the Pandemic's effects in each state; for example Indiana officially reported 154,600 cases while historians and epidemiologists now believe the count was closer to 350,000 cases.  Along with bibliographies for books and websites, biographies on people central to the Pandemic, and examples of media resources from the time it's a very comprehensive picture of the 1918 Pandemic.

If you're more interested in the current flu situation, the site's main page also includes a link to www.pandemicflu.gov.  That site helpfully pops up in a new window so you can continue browsing the historical information as well.  One last discovery I have to mention, while browsing the current flu site, I discovered that the Vanderburgh County Health Department offers email notification for H1N1 Vaccination clinics!  The notification comes through a catch-all category called "special events," so who knows what kind of notices a person may receive later on, but it could be worth not having to constantly check the department website or listen to the news all the time.

Comments (0)

No comments have been posted yet. Sign in to your account & return to this page to post your own comments!