Map La Grippe Deaths US Census Part III Table 18 States and NumbersThe Impact of the Russian Flu on the United States

A Virginia Tech Undergraduate Research Project



The “Russian Influenza” spread across Europe in late 1889, reached the United States in December, and continued across the globe for the next year. This disease outbreak is an excellent case study for examining the development of epidemiological methods and materials at a time when medical experts as well as the public used electronically disseminated news to track the spread of disease on a global scale. Exploring a variety of quantitative as well as textual data sources, this project will focus on measuring the impact of the disease at the national, regional, and local level.


October 23, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Blacksburg (link)

December 4, Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington (link)

February 11, Virginia Tech Public Health Grand Rounds – Blacksburg (link)


E. Thomas Ewing, Veronica Kimmerly, and Sinclair Ewing-Nelson, “’Look Out for La Grippe’: Using Digital Humanities Tools to Interpret Information Dissemination during the Russian Flu, 1889-1890.” Medical History Vol. 60, Issue 1 (January 2016), pp. 129-131. DOI 10.1017/mdh.2015.84. (link)