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Remembering Historic Health Emergencies In Cincinnati

Cincinnati barbers wear masks during the 1918 influenza pandemic.
Courtesy of the National Archives
Cincinnati barbers wear masks during the 1918 influenza pandemic.

As the Cincinnati area joins the rest of the world in combatting the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, we are reminded that this is not the region's first brush with a global pandemic. The 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic hit Cincinnati hard, too. 

But the Queen City dealt with more than that over the years. In fact, local historian and writer Greg Hand said, "epidemics used to be the norm: small pox, yellow fever, malaria, and, especially, cholera."

Cholera was more deadly than COVID-19 or the flu, with a 10-12% fatality rate. An 1849 outbreak led to the creation of more orphanages in Cincinnati.

Greg Hand joins Cincinnati Edition to discuss our region's history with health epidemics and pandemics.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the new host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.