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A Danger Greater Than War


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NSW and the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic

The 1918-1919 Spanish Influenza pandemic was the greatest calamity to befall NSW. Over 6,000 citizens of NSW died, tens of thousands were hospitalised and about one third became infected.

The citizens of NSW stoically faced unemployment, bureaucratic failings, and the deaths of their loved ones as three waves of influenza infections hit the State over eight months.

This book presents for the first time a comprehensive picture of this monumental crisis on NSW society.

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The State and local government responds
    1. Precautions and preparations
    2. The first wave
    3. The NSW government takes control
    4. Ambulance and emergency services
    5. Financial repercussions
  3. Groping in the Dark: The Medical Profession
  4. Protest and prayer: The Church
  5. Panic, Potions and Profiteering: The Press
    1. Influenza and advertising
  6. Living through the pandemic: Public help
  7. Impact of the pandemic
  8. Conclusion
  9. Timeline for influenza in NSW
  10. Bibliography
  11. Endnotes

This is the first of three books about Australia’s experience of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic. The other books are:

Author: Robyn Arrowsmith

Series editor: Dr Athol Yates

Imprint: Resilience & Security Books, Australian Security Research Centre

Publication Date: February 2007

Paperback, 96 pages, 41 illustrations