This Is How Copper Valley "Spanish Flu" Cases & Deaths Were Reported in 1919

Alaskan Newspapers Published Stories Of The Flu & Its Impact In Our Region  Received Local Information By Telegraph  In the winter of 19...

Alaskan Newspapers Published Stories Of The Flu & Its Impact In Our Region 


Received Local Information By Telegraph 

In the winter of 1919, as the Spanish Flu ran roughshod over the people of the Copper River Valley, a Fairbanks newspaper reported on the situation. Today, word about the cases of Covid-19 in the Copper Valley are relayed from CRNA and the State of Alaska by email. Back then, they came by telegram. America's most sophisticated telegraph system came through the Copper Valley back then, linking Washington State to Eagle on the Yukon. 

Here's a January story in the Fairbanks paper about our region and how many people had the flu and had died. 

LATEST DOPE ON THE "FLU" IN INTERIOR
Yesterday morning, to ascertain the status of the influenza situation at Copper Center The Citizen wired the operator in charge of the telegraph station there for information. Last evening the return wire was received and from the report the situation is on the improve. In detail the wire received was as follows:

"At Copper Center – Number of deaths from the influenza, 8; number of cases, 45. No new cases reported within the last five days and the situation seems to be improving. Only one white man has been sick. He will recover.
"At Upper Tonsina – Thirty cases and three deaths reported. 
"At Tonsina – Twelve cases and no deaths. 
"There is no influenza farther north than Tazlina. Dr. Billum, an Indian chief of the Copper river valley, died of the influenza at this place. Was well known by '98ers."


The above is the whole story of the influenza situation in a nut shell, complete and up-to-date as regards the number of cases and deaths...

–The weekly Alaska citizen, January, 1919 

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