Flu cast a pall over ar­mistice in 1918

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page -

AJoe Blundo

world war ended 100 years ago to­day, but the flu re­mained on the march.

The news in Colum­bus on Nov. 11, 1918, was dom­i­nated by the ar­mistice end­ing World War I, but on that same day, the in­side pages of The Dis­patch fea­tured these items:

• A pos­si­bly deliri­ous flu pa­tient leapt to his death from a Colum­bus hospi­tal win­dow.

• New sta­tis­tics led of­fi­cials to con­clude that the epi­demic in Colum­bus was al­most over. (It wasn’t, by a long shot).

• An ed­i­to­rial praised the sol­diers at Camp Sher­man near Chilli­cothe, where mil­i­tary trainees went about their du­ties even as hun­dreds of their com­pa­tri­ots died of flu. “Greater courage was never dis­played,” the ed­i­to­rial said.

The “Spanish flu” (so­called be­cause neu­tral Spain al­lowed un­cen­sored press cov­er­age of the out­break) killed about 50 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide, ac­cord­ing to some es­ti­mates. It struck down even healthy young adults with fright­en­ing speed.

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