Chiropractic Care During 1918 Influenza Epidemic

The 1918 Influenza Epidemic took the world by storm. As you are in another flu season and many of my patients are nervously asking me if they should get the flu shot. A look at chiropractic care during the 1918 Influenza epidemic is more than enlightening.

“The Official History of Chiropractic in Texas,” by Walter C. Rhodes, DC, states chiropractic care came into its own during the 1918 influenza epidemic. The following statistics from his chiropractic records leave no doubt chiropractic care offers value for influenza and pandemic preparedness.

During the epidemic, Davenport, Iowa, medical doctors treated 4,953 influenza cases with 274 deaths. At the same time, 150 chiropractor, students and faculty of Palmer School of Chiropractic treated 1,635 cases with only 1 death.

The state of Iowa reports medical doctors treated 93,590 influenza patients with 6,116 deaths. The rest of the state, except for Davenport, reported 4,735 patients treated by chiropractor care with a loss of 6 which is 1 out of 789 during the influenza epidemic.

Reports of New York City during the same epidemic, show 950 out of 10,000 patients medically treated died. Whereas 25 out of 10,000 died under drugless methods. (Documentation is not clear if chiropractic was the drugless method)

Interviews with chiropractors during the epidemic reveal their practice picked up. Chiropractic car became an acceptable science with new patients after the influenza epidemic.



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