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Mail Tribune 100, Oct. 12, 1918

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

Oct. 12, 1918


To prevent the further spread of the dread Spanish Influenza, of which four positive cases are known to exist in Medford and many others are suspected, the city authorities clamped down the lid this noon to go into effect Monday morning, ordering the closing of churches, theaters, schools and all public meetings and gatherings of every description. This drastic rule will be in effect until all danger of the epidemic getting a foothold in Medford is past.

The action was not decided on until the local situation had been thoroughly canvassed by Mayor Gates and Dr. Pickel. Every physician in the city was consulted and the opinion was unanimous that every precaution should be taken before it was too late. A number of cases and suspected cases were also reported from various parts of the county.

New reports of the alarming spread of the disease throughout the United State and the large death rate accompanying also had a great influence in deciding the local officials to act. A telephone message from Dunsmuir yesterday afternoon stating that there were 30 cases in that city and that there had been 37 deaths already and that by midnight last night 14 more were expected to die, also had a bearing. Several citizens from Dunsmuir were in Medford yesterday seeking nurses to assist in caring for influenza patients.

Health Officer Pickel advises all persons to cover their mouths and noses with their hands or handkerchiefs when coughing or sneezing and not to expectorate on the streets or floors. This will go a long ways towards preventing an epidemic here.

The closing order will stop the work of the Red Cross and many patriotic and public activities, and will entail a loss on the moving picture managements. Manager Percy of the Rialto theater takes a sensible view of the situation and approves of the closing order of the city officials. He too, believes that an once of prevention exercised now will prevent much misery and financial hardship later on. Mr. Percy holds that the picture theaters will only suffer a temporary loss as when the danger is over and the closing rule rescinded, the public will be very picture hungry and will crowd into the theaters to make up for lost time.

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News from 100 years ago