Help us improve the NZ History website - please fill in a short survey here.

Black plague - the 1918 influenza pandemic

When victims of influenza died, their bodies turned black as if they had the plague.

Transcript

I well remember my husband, who was custodian of the town hall at the time, coming home very depressed and telling me all about this awful flu epidemic that was spreading so fast. The patients had very high temperatures, and when they died the bodies turned black, just like the plague, and it was really serious. He felt that if he got it, that would be the end. So I said, well, it's no use frightening ourselves into it; we must take every precaution and hope for the best. I used to disinfect the drains well, and we gargled with a weak solution of Condy's fluid every day. Tom used to spray the car with formalin after taking patients to the hospital. It spread so fast that they had to put up a marquee to take their overflow of patients.

Community contributions

2 comments have been posted about Black plague - the 1918 influenza pandemic

What do you know?

admin

Posted: 07 Nov 2008

No there weren't - see Response to the influenza pandemic for more Jamie

Anonymous

Posted: 14 Oct 2008

were there vaccinations for this?