Flu in the Arctic: Influenza in Alaska, 1918

Influenza arrives in AK. “While Spanish Influenza will not come to Alaska as quickly as it spread across the continent, it will be here in time,” said Dr. L.O. Sloane, public health officer, this morning. -The Alaska Daily Empire, Oct. 5, 1918. The Empire’s Readers did not have to wait long. By Oct. 14, the paper reported 4 cases in Juneau. On Oct. 20, 36 people arrived in Nome on the steamship Victoria. Though mail bags were fumigated, the sickness was carried across western & northern Alaska, likely following postal & mining trails. The impact was immediate. This was especially true for Indigenous communities.