[2015] N W: Spanish Flu In Canada

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[2015] N W: Spanish Flu In Canada

The Spanish influenza epidemic, uniquely lethal in attacking young, healthy bodies, killed at least 20 million people worldwide, including an estimated 50,000 Canadians. The flu was spread through bodily fluids and moved quickly through the population. The most vulnerable were healthy 20-30 year olds, the dangerous age according to the Regina Leader. The flu presented itself through exhaustion and cough, but quickly attacked the body, creating mucous build-up in the lungs that could not be expelled. Victims of the flu could be dead within a day of contracting the illness.

Specific Area it Affected

Although its effects were both devastating and far-reaching, the influenza spread through Labrador in a matter of weeks, killing more than 30 per cent of the Inuit population and infecting many others. Those who did not die from the disease often experienced heart and respiratory troubles for the rest of their lives.

Lasting Impact

Rarely a family escaped being touched by the flu. Almost everyone lost a mother, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, or a dad. Thousands were left orphans. Others survived to suffer a lifetime of heart and respiratory problems. In 1918, with no national preparedness in place, all the effort had been at the grass roots level. In 1919 the federal govt finally established a health dept. Hospitals were built. Public health improved.


- "The 1918 Influenza Pandemic." The 1918 Influenza Pandemic. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.

Spanish Flu In Canada

World Wide Massacre

Spanish Flu

Canada’s flu dead included soldiers who had survived the fighting overseas only to submit to illness once in Canada and thousands of family members who welcomed them home but perished soon after their arrival.The loss of so many Canadians had a profound social and economic impact on a country that had already suffered 60,000 war dead. The combined death toll significantly reduced the workforce. It left thousands of families without a primary wage earner and orphaned thousands of children.In attempting to halt the spread of the disease, many local governments shut down non-essential services. Provinces imposed quarantines and protective masks were required in public places. The epidemic led directly to the formation of the federal Department of Health in 1919.


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