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Spanish flu

What Alaskans learned from ‘the mother of all pandemics’

May 18, 2020

It’s October 1918 in Juneau, and the future of Alaska depends on which comes first — winter or the so-called Spanish flu.

At that time the flu had already been ravaging the outside world, infecting one-third of the global population. It added to the tragic loss of human life in World War I, which was about to end. When it was all over, records show at least 50 million total deaths from the flu worldwide.

The Spanish flu, which killed about 50 million to 100 million people, reached Alaska in the early 20th century.

As part of the commemoration of the American Indian Alaska Native Heritage Month, University of Alaska Bookstore is hosting a presentation about the pandemic that hit Alaska in 1918.

Tundra Vision proprietor Katie Ringsmuth and Tim Troll, who is the executive director of the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust, stopped into KNBA’s Morning Line to talk about the presentation.