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Conditions are Acute but Less Alarming

Prevalence of influenza and pneumonia throughout the state took the form of an epidemic here last Saturday, when physicians of the town reported 71 cases of the disease to the Board of Health, and since then Greenfield has faced the most serous condition the town has known in years through the ravages of the "grip," influenza and pneumonia. Up to yesterday noon the total number of cases of the Spanish influenza reported since last week Thursday to the Board of Health by local physicians, was 340, and within the period there were 16 deaths.

The death toll for the town was increased slightly, however, by persons dying of other causes, as was the case of John Mead, who died suddenly, but after a lingering illness not connected with the prevailing epidemic. There are others in the list of deaths due to other causes. Early in the week the toll included a husband and wife, who died within a short time of each other, Joseph Godelsky, 32, and his wife, 28, of 4 Chapman court. Two nurses have died in hospitals, Miss Elsie M. Hough, a pupil nurse at Franklin Hospital and

Sister Mary Vita

Sister Mary Vita of the Springfield Mercy hospital staff died Thursday evening in Farren hospital, Montague City, of Spanish influenza, after an illness of five days. Sister Mary Vita went to Montague City 10 days ago to help in the nursing there as the regular staff was not able to care for the rush of patients brought in by the influenza epidemic.

The conditions yesterday were reported by Timothy M. Hayes of the Board of Health to be normal, and not any worse than the prior two days, and he stated that the Greenfield Lodge of Elks has offered use of its club house in the case of emergency, but if new cases are cared for in the homes so that no further demands are made upon the hospitals, additional accommodations may not be required.

Greenfield's Appeal Denied

The appeal sent out Wednesday night by the Board of Health for assistance in fighting the epidemic of Spanish influenza was refused for the reason the hospitals are unable to spare any of their nurses and doctors. Replies were received yesterday from the Albany and Quincy hospitals to this effect. However, the Home Nursing Association has succeeded in securing a dozen persons to act as nurses and they began their duties yesterday.

Seven of the nurses in Franklin County hospital are ill with the disease. The institution is so crowded with patients that influenza victims and convalescent patients are being placed on cots according to statements by members of the Board of Health.

Of Greenfield's 15 physicians, three are ill and unable to attend to their patients. They are Dr. J. C. O'Brien, Dr. W. K. Clark and Dr. A. H. Ellis. The others are working day and night and are sticking to their task manfully. In Turners Falls the lack of doctors is so great than an appeal for medical men has been sent to Boston. In Greenfield, there is not another nurse available for duty.

By order of the Board of Health the public library and a private library were closed this week. The schools and motion pictures are closed. The board has also ordered clubs closed. There was an unusually large number of deaths reported this week.

(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 675,000 Americans died from this disease and that 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 reached an epidemic in Greenfield on September 28. From September 26 thru noon on October 4, there were 340 cases and 16 deaths. The deaths included two nurses. The Board of Health ordered schools, libraries, theaters, and private clubs closed.


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"Influenza Epidemic Continues" article in Gazette and Courier newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Gazette and Courier
date   Oct 5, 1918
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
height   8.5"
width   1.75"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L08.039

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See Also...

"Influenza With Us- Epidemic Has Taken Hold of Greenfield" article from The Greenfield Recorder newspaper


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

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