Spit Spreads Death: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918–19 in Philadelphia


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Film Description: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 two months? During fall 1918, in the last months of World War I, Philadelphia hosted the largest parade in its history. Within days, influenza casualties overwhelmed hospitals. In this illustrated presentation, Robert D. Hicks, Director of the Mütter Museum, discusses the pandemic as a social catastrophe and considers its memorialization today. He shares highlights of the museum’s most ambitious exhibition to date, Spit Spreads Death: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19 in Philadelphia, that opens during this for five years. Several relevant artifacts from the Mütter Museum will be on display at the lecture.

Robert D. Hicks, Ph.D., Senior Consulting Scholar, Director, Mütter Museum/Historical Medical Library, William Maul Measey Chair for the History of Medicine of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Video Category:Lecture
Video Date:03/04/2020
Tags: Covid 19 | Disease | Pandemics | Philadelphia, (Pa.) | Spanish influenza

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