how did the 1918-1919 pandemic affect African Americans?
- ?Lv 41 month ago
The National Institutes of Health has a good (although lengthy) article going into detail on this. A paragraph near the end of the article provides some guidance to understanding:
"The lack of accurate data collection during the public health crisis and the possibility that African American influenza cases may have been underreported because of inadequate access to medical care make it difficult to conclude definitively whether the incidence of influenza was lower in African Americans during the epidemic. However, in 1918 the belief that influenza took a lesser toll on African Americans was widespread and strongly held. The black lay public, black physicians, and white public health officials all shared this conviction. Thus, it appears likely that the incidence of influenza was lower in African Americans. Several factors might explain this racial differential. Alfred W. Crosby argues that African Americans were more susceptible to Spanish influenza and that many contracted it during the milder spring epidemic and thus were immune during the more severe fall epidemic. But it can also be argued that black people were less susceptible to influenza during both waves of the epidemic. Segregation cannot be discounted as a factor. It may have functioned as a de facto quarantine that limited the exposure of African Americans to influenza. The reasons for the apparent racial disparity are not clear."
- Anonymous1 month ago