A Comparison of the Structures of Epidemics in Early-20th-Century New Orleans: Smallpox, Yellow Fever, and Influenza

Wright Kennedy, University of South Carolina

This paper uses geocoded individual death records to compare the spatial patterns and demographic profiles of three epidemics in New Orleans at the beginning of the 20th century. Three diseases—smallpox in 1900, yellow fever in 1905, and influenza in 1915—exhibited different pathways of disease diffusion into the city. These epidemics reveal the uneven disease burdens that often mirrored residential segregation by race and class. Furthermore, this paper uses business directories as a proxy for economic shifts in these neighborhoods to investigate the compounding localized economic damage caused by epidemics.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 66. Health and Hazards I : Pandemic Geographies