Created by lu_fell_in_a_hole on Jun 30, 2008
Last updated: 11/17/09 at 04:50 AM
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The First World War came to an end on 11 November, 1918, but at the same time an influenza epidemic was sweeping around the world. It was known as the Spanish Flu, or the 'plague of the Spanish Lady', but the infection did not begin in Spain. It was thought that part of the reason it spread so rapidly was because it was carried by soldiers returning from the trenches of France to other more isolated parts of the world, such as the Pacific Islands. One of the troop ships returning to New Zealand was the Niagara, which arrived in Auckland on 12 October, 1918, carrying the Prime Minister, William Massey, and the Minister of Finance, Joseph Ward, who had been in Europe. On board there were a number of cases of influenza. A member of the crew had died, 100 other crew members were ill, and 25 passengers were seriously ill and in need of hospital care. The ship was not placed in quarantine, and it was later felt that if this had happened, the influenza would not have spread so far or so quickly. However, there were already cases of illness in Auckland and other troop ships were returning from Europe, the source of the infection. By November there were reports of outbreaks of flu in other parts of New Zealand. But the Department of Health still had not restricted travel around the country, and the infection kept spreading. People came down with the symptoms of the flu very quickly, sometimes collapsing within a matter of hours, and even dying the same day. The only way to avoid catching the virus was by keeping out of contact with other people. There were no flu vaccinations available, and no antibiotics for those who fell ill. One of the worst effects of the influenza was on the lungs, which could lead to pneumonia, and more often than not, death. Infected patients found it hard to breathe, and often there was not enough oxygen in their blood. Because of this some of the victims turned a purple-black in colour after they died. Inhalation chambers were set up so that people could breathe in fumes which were supposed to help clear their lungs. This method of prevention was not proved to be effective, and by bringing people together, it may have helped spread the infection. Between one third and a half of the population of New Zealand was infected with the flu. In some places the death rate was as high as 80% of the town's population, while in others there were very few deaths. Military camps, where the soldiers were crammed together in their living quarters, had higher death rates than places where living conditions were less cramped. Many doctors and nurses were overseas with the military forces, and back home many fell ill themselves. Medical supplies began to run low. Hospitals became full very quickly, and emergency hospitals were set up in schools and church halls, and even in tents in some places. Soup kitchens were organised to feed those people unable to help themselves. At the height of the epidemic in November, for 2-3 weeks, ordinary life was impossible. Shops, offices and factories shut down without enough staff to keep them going, and schools, hotels and theatres were closed by order of the government. Because shipping from port to port around New Zealand came to a halt, many towns suffered from a shortage of basic supplies, such as flour and coal. In some places it became impossible to hold proper funeral services for the victims of the influenza. Many undertakers and grave diggers were ill, and the numbers too many to deal with. Coffins were made by volunteers. By December the worst of the epidemic was over, and many who were ill began to recover. How many died: Over 8,000 people died from the influenza epidemic in New Zealand.
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first climbers to reach the sumit of Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world. They were 29,028 feet above sea level
location: Europe, Africa, Pacific, South East Asia,Middle East and Mediterranean
Ernest Rutherford Split the atom
Location: Europe, Africa, And the Middle east
Kate Shepard and Mary Ann Muller campained for women to be able to vote.
The world famous pink and white terraces at Lake Rotomahana were regarded as the eighth wonder of the world and became New Zealand's first tourist attraction. On June 10th, 1886, Mt Tarawera erupted, destroying the terraces, devastating the surrounding landscape and villages with a loss of over 150 lives.