© 2022
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Epidemic

  • Communities closed down when the flu pandemic struck North Dakota in the fall of 1918. But the length of restrictions on schools, churches, theaters and public gatherings differed. Fargo’s lockdown lasted about three weeks. Bismarck’s restrictions lasted a month. Grand Forks reopened after seven weeks, and Minot’s restrictions ended after eight weeks, one of the longest closings in the state.
  • Face masks were widely used during the terrible flu pandemic of 1918. Newspapers carried instructions for making masks from gauze or cheesecloth. The Red Cross made and distributed masks. Health authorities advocated the use of masks.
  • Last month we heard about the triumph of the Salk polio vaccine. Polio was a dreaded disease that could paralyze and even kill, and children were the most vulnerable. Before a vaccine, little could be done.
  • For decades, measles was a pervasive disease that swamped towns and schools with epidemics, until vaccines were developed in the 1960s and ‘70s.The last…
  • Diphtheria was a wicked disease that killed many children in North Dakota’s early years. It is caused by bacteria that produce a deadly toxin in the nose,…
  • Smallpox ravaged the world for centuries before it was eradicated by vaccination in 1980. In what is now North Dakota, smallpox devastated Native tribes…
  • North Dakota’s Legislature passed a law in 1975 that increased requirements for school immunizations. Parents had to provide proof their children had…
  • The Grand Forks area saw a smallpox epidemic in the fall of 1878 that killed the city’s first physician. Few newspaper accounts exist about the outbreak,…
  • Typhoid is caused by bacteria associated with human waste. In the fall of 1893, Crookston had several dozen cases of typhoid, and as a precaution,…
  • To combat North Dakota’s western equine encephalitis epidemic in 1941, health authorities recommended that farm workers wear mesh veils, gloves and ankle…