Washington DC History Resources

Matthew B. Gilmore

October 18, 1918

The daily death toll still rises–91 deaths in the previous 24 hours, as reported by the Evening Star--click: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1918-10-18/ed-1/

Space to care for patients is still critically short; besides the 500-bed hospital (still short all of its actual beds) in Foggy Bottom, portable hospitals have been erected.

“Twenty-five portable hospitals, similar to those used by the American expeditionary forces in France, were established in Washington today to care for influenza patients…”

But today Health Officer Fowler evinced some optimism, in a contrast to recent gloomy forecasts:

  • “In a way I am optimistic, after looking over the influenza conditions in the city,” said Health Officer W. C. Fowler this morning. “I believe, or at least hope, that the crest of thecontagion has been reached.”
  • “Every known preventative in medical science has been applied rigorously to the situation to stop the spread of the contagion. In this we have the splendid and efficient cooperation of the public health service, through the.office of Dr. H. M. Mustard in the Webster School building: that of the Red Cross activities, the organized nurses and other interests, and we are securing satisfactory results in this effort.”

Commissioner Louis Brownlow, directing the District health activities, said this morning that there was nothing new in the general situation, but that the authorities are hopeful
that the worst has been passed.


Construction of more housing is planned for war workers:

The housing bureau of the Department of Labor estimated today that it will take four months, or until about February 15, to complete the dormitories and apartment houses to be erected for war workers at 23d and B streets. Contract for this project, which is to consist of ten dormitories, twenty eight apartment house buildings, one infirmary and a combined cafeteria and power building, was let yesterday to Moss, Taylor & Crawford of
Philadelphia, on a lump-sum basis. Waddy B. Wood, Washington architect, drew the plans. The project will provide accommodations for 2,202 persons. With this development added; to the dormitories now nearing completion on the Union station plaza, the government will have erected accommodation for approximately 5,000

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