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|Title:||Miasma To Microscopes: The Russian Influenza Pandemic in Hamilton|
|Authors:||Herring, D. Ann|
Lim, Marie K.
Maris, Natasha K.
Martel, Kelly A.
Toth, Gabrielle S.
Byford, Sarah K.
Hartwick, Courtney A.
Da, Silva Stephanie
|Keywords:||Russian Influenza;pandemic;epidemic;flu;Hamilton;nineteenth century;Anthropology;Biological and Physical Anthropology;Anthropology|
|Abstract:||<p>While many readers will be familiar with the well known “Spanish Influenza”, a<br />term that refers to the iconic 1918 influenza pandemic, its predecessor, the<br />Russian Influenza – a pandemic that occurred in several waves during the late<br />nineteenth century (1889-94) – seems to have been lost from public memory. Yet,<br />in a mere four months it spread rapidly around a world that was becoming<br />increasingly interconnected by ships and railways (Valleron <em>et al</em>. 2010).<br />The details of the pandemic’s progress and effects were extensively reported in<br />newspapers and medical periodicals. The people of Hamilton were well aware of<br />its movements long before it reached the city. As an illness that seemed to<br />manifest itself simultaneously in mild and severe forms, doctors of the period<br />were at a loss to explain what was causing such widespread and variable suffering<br />(Smith 1995:55). This was a time when medical authorities debated whether<br />disease was caused by miasma – noxious odours and poisonous gases – or by<br />invisible bacteria that could only be seen with a microscope; a time in which the<br />public was essentially left to its own devices to treat the illness popularly known<br />as “la grippe”.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Anthropology Publications|
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