“The 1918 has gone: a year momentous as the termination of the most cruel war in the annals of the human race; a year which marked, the end at least for a time, of man’s destruction of man; unfortunately a year in which developed a most fatal infectious disease causing the death of hundreds of thousands of human beings. Medical science for four and one-half years devoted itself to putting men on the firing line and keeping them there. Now it must turn with its whole might to combating the greatest enemy of all–infectious disease”
– The Journal of the American Medical Association, December 1918
In 1918, Japan’s Central Sanitary Bureau (JCSB) published a manual and posters instructing people in ways to recognise and prevent Spanish Flu (Supein kaze), the disease that had ravaged humanity claiming as many as 50 million lives. As today’s world reacts and adjusts to coronavirus Covid-19, the posters from a century ago could be suitable for any billboard in 2020. “There is hardly a school in Tokyo but from which dozens or scores of students and teachers are absent, and it is spreading to offices and factories. The disease has become known as the ‘Spanish influenza,’” ran a report in The Japan Advertiser (October 27, 1918).
Each month during the epidemic, the JCSB published the number of deaths by prefecture. From July 2018 to September 1919, 21 million Japanese contracted the virus, from a population of 51 million. There were 257,000 deaths.
The 455-page manual featured charts and 4 rules to beat the bug: “stay away”; “cover your mouth and nose”; “get vaccinated”; and “gargle”. That advice and the accompanying posters you can see below:
Via: Spoon Tamago
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