MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Just over a hundred years ago, Miami faced a similar medical emergency like the coronavirus crisis it’s experiencing right now.

In 1918, it was not coronavirus that shut the city down – it was the Spanish flu.

“It hit Miami in October of 1918. World War I was winding down. Believe it or not, it was over by the first week in November. It lasted less than a month. In that time, schools closed. Houses of worship closed. Movie theaters closed masonic lodges. Everything kind of shut down for the better part of four weeks,” explained Dr. Paul George, resident historian at the HistoryMiami Museum. “We had a small medical force of nurses, volunteers working in the medical community. The city’s health leader, Dr. Sisler said on October 9th, ‘We got to lock this place up.’ So we went into a shut down. That lasted for a couple of weeks. Everything was then better by the end of November.”

A total of 87 people died in the Miami area because of that Spanish flu pandemic.

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