Summerland has faced disease outbreak in the past

Summerland has faced disease outbreak in the past

Spanish influenza, from 1918 to 1920, took a toll on the world

The COVID-19 pandemic is not the first time communities have been shut down in an attempt to minimize the effects of a disease.

A century ago, the Spanish influenza epidemic saw a similar response. This epidemic lasted from 1918 to 1920.

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During this time, public facilities were closed and businesses promoted medications and supplies for the epidemic.

The public notice was given in March, 1920, during the third and final wave of the epidemic. The Rialto Theatre was closed as a precaution. Schools, churches and public events were also closed to slow the spread of the disease.

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Spanish influenza saw cases throughout the Okanagan Valley.

The medication of choice was bromide quinine, related to the more recent drug, hydroxychloroquine. This is the medication promoted by U.S. President Donald Trump to treat COVID-19.

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