Influenza

Where did the 1918 influenza come from?

Immediately following the 1918 influenza pandemic many researchers speculated on the origin of the disease. As many influenza A strains were known to arise in the Orient it was first thought that the virulent 1918 form had also began in the east. Scientists thought...

How did the influenza get to New Zealand?

New Zealanders looking for someone to blame for the influenza pandemic of 1918 looked to their politicians. Many thought their country's health services had let them down and that national politicians had not prevented the spread of the disease and had not advised...

The influenza arrives in Wairarapa

In early November the Wairarapa Daily Times reported that the new more virulent influenza was well-established in Auckland. On the 5th deaths were recorded in Auckland and Napier and news of the economic effects of the epidemic, as it was then called, were detailed....

The influenza arrives in Masterton

On 12th November 1918, Masterton went mad as the news of the official end to the war came through. "Pandemonium reigned in Masterton. Whistles screeched out, bells rang, people cheered and screeched with joy, bands played as there was such a scene in Queen Street as...

Influenza Prevention

The Health Department was quick of the mark with advice for those who felt they were getting the flu. They recommended that sufferers should: go to bed as soon as they felt pain in the limbs or head, or got a cold; go to bed in an unoccupied room and stay there until...

Influenza Treatment

There was little that medical services could offer to those who were suffering from the worst symptoms of influenza. Many deaths occurred from secondary infections, now easily treatable with anti-biotics, but then unheard of. Others were infected with severe viral...

The influenza pandemic peaks and passes

By mid-November Masterton was fully in the grip of the influenza pandemic. An extra inhalation chamber was erected in the Masterton Borough Council offices and thousands of people were reported to be using the facility. Most were undertaking the treatment once a day...

How many Wairarapa people died?

The following list is adapted from Geoffrey Rice's book, Black November. Māori deaths Non-Māori deaths Total deaths Pahiatua 6 8 14 Pahiatua County 11 11 Akitio County 4 4 Eketahuna County and Town 1 8 9 Mauriceville County 4 4 Masterton County 8 25 33 Masterton 53 53...

Who died?

A register of deaths from the files of the Wairarapa Age and Wairarapa Daily Times, listing those who died in Wairarapa and those from Wairarapa who died out of the district. 14 November Orion Knight; Charles Clarke; John Hart; George Brown; Jean Hall 15 November Dr...

Obituaries

During November and December newspapers were filled with obituaries of those who had died in the pandemic. These ranged from extensive life histories to smaller recordings of death. The following samples were taken from the files of the Wairarapa Daily Times and the...

The after effects

The cause of the 1918 influenza pandemic was poorly understood. The nature of viruses was undiscovered and scientists and health workers believed the pandemic had been caused by a bacterial infection. The general populace thought the infection was due to, and spread...

Influenza Oral History

Ella Smith was in Pahiatua when the end of the war was announced. She joined others at the commemorations but her celebrations were cut short when she became ill.       Ivan Gray was a young trainee truck driver when he was called upon to do an unpleasant job, taking...