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Return to:   Epidemics and Pandemic Flu of 1918-1919 - Native Alaskans had no natural immunity against the terrible diseases that swept through their people following contact with Europeans and Americans.
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Naknek woman cutting fish

The worldwide influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 was devastating to Alaska Native populations. In 1919, a National Geographic Society expedition headed for the Katmai area passed through the Bristol Bay region, witnessing the sight of many orphaned children and the rare healthy adult. Photographing this Naknek woman cutting fish, photographer Emery Clifford Kolb noted: “This woman was away from the village at the time the Flu struck otherwise she would have died for the epidemic carried off practically every adult native in the whole Bristol Bay country.” University of Alaska Anchorage Archives.

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