Spit Spreads Death: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918–19 in Philadelphia
What happens when disease strikes a city of two million people, sickening half a million and killing more than 12,000 in just six weeks and 16,000 in six months? How do people respond? What do they feel and fear? During fall, 1918, during the last months of World War I, Philadelphia hosted the largest parade in its history to support the Liberty Loan fund drive for the war effort. Within days, influenza casualties overwhelmed hospitals. In 2019, on the 101st anniversary of the outbreak of the flu pandemic in Philadelphia, the Mütter Museum opens the most ambitious exhibition in its history, Spit Spreads Death: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918–19 in Philadelphia. Taken from a public health campaign in 1918, the title warns against the transmission of the virus that killed more people globally than both world wars combined, and devastated Philadelphia over a few short months. Director of the museum Robert D. Hicks, PhD, in an illustrated presentation, discusses the flu pandemic in Philadelphia and previews the new exhibition.
Presentation will occur at the Holy Family University Education and Technology Auditorium.
Image courtesy of Mutter Museum.