Roy Reginald Hodson

Roy Reginald Hodson Born: 13 Nov 1900 in Wanganui  son of James and Eva Hodson,  died: aged 19 yrs on 23 Nov 1918 in the Wanganui - cause of death: (influenza.

Following  World War I, an influenza pandemic swept around the world. In two months New Zealand lost about half as many people to influenza as it had in the whole of the First World War. The war had killed 16,500 New Zealanders in four years. In just eight weeks, the flu wiped out 8600 - a wife their father, mother brother, sister lost just as many  soldiers arrived home

Scientists had not yet discovered viruses so there were no laboratory tests to diagnose, detect, or characterize flu viruses. Prevention and treatment methods for flu were limited. There were no vaccines to protect against flu virus infection, no antiviral drugs to treat flu illness, and no antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections like pneumonia. Efforts to prevent the spread of disease were limited to non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), including promotion of good personal hygiene, and implementation of isolation, quarantine, and closures of public settings, such as schools and theaters. Some cities imposed ordinances requiring face masks in public.

100 years later, we’ve come a long way in developing methods to track, prevent and treat flu, but there is still a long way to go.