2017-12-01 / News Update

WWI Remembered

The most common experience of World War I

Georgia was home to more war-training camps than any other state and played a significant role during America’s participation in World War I. In September 1918, Georgia suffered from the effects of the influenza pandemic to include draftees reporting to Camp Gordon. Soldiers of the Second Infantry Replacement Regiment had been placed under quarantine by the camp commandant after several Soldiers fell ill with influenza upon returning from a training session at the nearby firing range. Two days later, after cases began appearing in other regiments at the camp, Brigadier General W. H. Sage also placed the First, Second, and Fourth Regiments, as well as several smaller units, under quarantine. From a GI. Camp Gordon Base Hospital report it was noted that the increase in influenza assumed epidemic proportions and steadily increased to its height during the early part of October. Every Soldier in camp who had a temperature was a potential influenza case and was immediately transferred to the hospital for a minimum period of 10 days of isolation, observation and treatment. Camp Gordon, compared to the other camps, was particularly fortunate in the relatively low mortality with only 138 fatal cases of pneumonia resulting from the respiratory complications of influenza – the Spanish Flu. Military deaths from influenza during World War I was 58,119, which exceeded the combat deaths of 52,280. Of the deaths from influenza, more than 30,000 were in U.S. training camps, the most to die in the U. S. in wartime since the Civil War. In 1938, Jonas Salk and Thomas Francis developed the first vaccine against flu viruses. This first flu vaccine was used to protect the U.S. military forces against the flu during World War II. For Servicemembers, immunization against disease, including the flu, is an important part of your medical readiness.

Eisenhower Army Medical Center will open its Family Medicine Clinic to provide flu shots for beneficiaries on Saturday, Dec. 2. Immunizations will be offered from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Influenza can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death in high risk patients. During the flu season from October until May, flu viruses are circulating at higher levels in the population and can put personnel and their families at risk.

An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chance of getting the flu and spreading it to others.

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