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Reflecting on a Past Pandemic: The Bubonic Plague in California, 1900-1904
Over the past several months, media coverage of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has often made reference to the global influenza outbreak, commonly and mistakenly referred to as the ‘Spanish Flu’ of 1918-1919, noting how we might learn from this past public health crisis. While the great influenza pandemic that accompanied the end of the World War I does offer up some lessons in how public health and political authorities should respond to a pandemic in terms of the wearing of masks, social distancing, the use of quarantine measures, and understanding the epidemiology of how a disease moves through a population, there exists another example in our recent history that has largely been overlooked -The Bubonic Plague in California, 1900-1904.

Using a variety of recent studies of the third plague pandemic, the development of public health in the United States, and the San Francisco plague outbreak, along with the rich collections of archival materials housed in the U.S. National Archives in College Park, Maryland, this public talk presents a history of the San Francisco Bubonic plague outbreak noting the many similarities that exist between this earlier public health crisis and the one in which we now find ourselves living.

Speaker: Bob Perrins, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mount Saint Mary's University

Apr 29, 2021 10:00 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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