In January of 1918, not far from the Colorado border, a local politician, who moonlit as the town doctor, reported an unusual outbreak of influenza in the small cattle community of Haskell County Nebraska. Not long after, several men from Haskell traveled to Camp Funston to begin Army training before serving in World War I, carrying the virus with them. In the following weeks, over 1,100 soldiers were admitted to the Camp Funston infirmary, before the virus spread to 24 of 36 US Army training facilities, eventually following the soldiers as they deployed overseas to the European Front.
2018 is the 100th anniversary of the 1918 flu epidemic which traveled across all inhabited continents, infecting an estimated 500 million people; a third of the world’s population in 1918! The virus overwhelmed hospitals and infirmaries as thousands of people sought treatment daily. By the time the pandemic subsided, over 670,000 Americans would die as a result of influenza, and millions more lay victim around the globe.
Influenza is a rapidly mutating and highly infectious virus that attacks the lungs, nose, and throat. Young children and the elderly are particularly at risk. Steamboat Emergency Center is always open and always prepared to diagnose and treat patients with flu-like symptoms. If you notice any combination of the following symptoms, you should seek care from your medical provider:
December 2-8 is National Flu Awareness Week, and in honor of this Steamboat Emergency Center is offering free flu vaccinations for any member of the community over 6 months old. The 2017-2018 flu season was one of the deadliest in recent history, killing over 80,000 people. While the flu vaccine is not 100% effective, due to the rapidly mutating nature of the virus, it does offer a significant level of protection. 80% of the children infected last year were unvaccinated. If you or a loved one has not received a flu shot this year, we welcome you to come to Steamboat Emergency Center for a free vaccination.
This blog was written by Michael Hickey, a Steamboat Emergency Center Employee.
Come visit Steamboat Emergency Center or any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.