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"Influenza Returns- South Deerfield Had Severe Week With It" article from The Greenfield Recorder newspaper

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The influenza epidemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than World War I. It is estimated that it affected a quarter of the population and that 675,000 Americans died from this disease. Between September 1, 1918 and January 16, 1919, 45,000 people died in Massachusetts. The disease entered the country with some sailors that docked in Boston on August 27. Within two weeks, over two thousand men stationed in the Boston area were infected. By October, towns in western Massachusetts were seeing high rates of infection and death. This article reports that the disease had broken out again in December, this time affecting different towns. The October outbreak had mainly affected Greenfield, Millers Falls and Turners Falls, and this December outbreak hit Sunderland, South Deerfield, Conway and Whately. The Board of Health in Deerfield issued an order preventing any public gatherings and closing all public buildings in the village of South Deerfield. This article also discusses the benefits of public health nurses and that, due to a shortage, towns should think about creating public health nurse districts like they had school districts.


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