The "Spanish” Influenza Pandemic Of 1918 And Its Impact On The Southern Rhodesian Mining Industry
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The -influenza pandemic of 1918 caused the deaths of some 20 million people throughout the world and was probably the worst epidemic in human history with the exceptions of New Guinea, St. Helena and certain South Pacific Islands, the Whole world was ultimately ravaged by the disease which attacked 50 -per cent, of the world’s population, the attendant -death-rate averaging 3 -per -cent. This paper will briefly describe the passage of the epidemic through Southern Rhodesia, with particular regard to the mining industry -It will examine the Administration’s response to the advent of the disease and the subsequent criticisms voiced by the Rhodesia Chamber of Mines, before discussing the African labour conditions on the mines -in relation to the influenza epidemic and the treatments used to combat its spread. The conclusion will attempt to assess -the effects of the epidemic on the mining industry of Southern Rhodesia.