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The Spanish Lady: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Western Pennsylvania   

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic affected the entire world. While the true number of deaths is unknowable, the most commonly accepted estimates range between 20-60 million victims. This presentation will summarize the arrival, spread, and impact of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Western Pennsylvania. By the autumn of 1918 the disease arrived in Pennsylvania with a vengeance. There were over 500,000 Pennsylvanians infected by the disease and over 50,000 deaths in Pennsylvania alone. The similarities between the 1918 Pandemic and the current Covid-19 Pandemic will be discussed.

Thomas Soltis, PhD, teaches courses in Sociology and Anthropology at the Westmoreland County Community College where he won the “Outstanding Teacher Award” in 2001 and again in 2016. Dr. Soltis’ book, An Unwelcome Visit From the Spanish Lady: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Western Pennsylvania was published in 2019.