The Silent Killer of 1918: The Devastating Effects of the 1918-1920 Spanish Influenza Pandemic in Western North Carolina

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christian Henderson (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site:
Alvis Dunn

Abstract: The Spanish influenza pandemic is one that many historians have largely covered in research. However, with estimates between 50 to 100 million people dying worldwide, it is a pandemic that has become forgotten among today's public. With recent scholarship done on smaller regions, this thesis addresses the impact that this devastating illness had on the everyday life of the Western North Carolinian during the years of 1918-1920.Ben’s long thin body lay three-quarters covered by the bedding; its [sic] gaunt outline was bitterly twisted below the covers, in an attitude of struggle and torture. It seemed not to belong to him, it was somehow distorted and detached as if it belonged to a beheaded criminal. And the sallow yellow of his face had turned gray; out of this granite tint of death, lit by two red flags of fever, the stiff furze of a three-day beard was growing. The beard was somehow horrible; it recalled the corrupt vitality of hair, which can grow from a rotting corpse. And Ben’s thin lips were lifted, in a constant grimace of torture and strangulation, above his white somehow dead-looking teeth, as inch by inch he gasped a thread of air into his lungs… it was monstrous, brutal

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Spanish Influenza ; flu ; pandemic ; North Carolina

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