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Mail Tribune 100, Dec. 18, 1918

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

Dec. 18, 1918


“The influenza germ has been isolated at the Rockefeller institute” said Dr. E. H. Porter, upon his return to Medford today, “and a very important announcement concerning its treatment may be expected in the next week or ten days. As yet no one knows exactly what the disease is. It certainly is not the old influenza. While I was at the Massachusetts General hospital in Boston, cases were brought in by the dozens, where the patient had been ill but a few days, or even a few hours, and would be dead within 24 hours.”

“There is reason to believe that this disease is a pneumonic form of the old bubonic plague. Many cases under my observation have shown the identical symptoms of the bubonic plague that raged while I was in the Philippines. Medford people do not know what an influenza epidemic is altho of course I realize there has been a serious situation here. But in Boston and other large cities where there are large congested districts, large areas of foreign population, where many families are crowded into a few rooms, the results have been ghastly — simply beyond description. The nearest approach is some of the plagues of the middle ages.”

“I am heartily in favor of the flu mask and quarantine as prescribed by the local authorities. Many eastern cities have adopted flu masks and the results have been excellent.

“I intend to open the sanitarium just as soon as I can get it properly cleaned out and my corps of nurses arrive. I had a hard time securing nurses. Finally found a supply in Los Angeles and expect several of them in a few days.”

Dr. Porter returned alone leaving Mrs. Porter and the children in Worcester, Mass. He has fully regained his health, and says he is glad to get back “to the best place on earth to live.”


The last public appearance in uniform of the University of Oregon unit of the students army training corps, in which are a number of Medford boys, was held at the university and now nothing remains but to muster out the men. Most of the paper work in connection with the discharging has already been done and the final disbanding of the unity will come on Dec. 20.

News from 100 years ago