Although the major influenza epidemic that hit the United States and the rest of the world in 1918 and 1919 was undeniably the most deadly of its time, influenza and its secondary infections were prevalent throughout the early part of the 1900s (and earlier, of course). Newspapers in Itawamba County were full of reports of sickness and deaths from these infections. Antibiotics weren't developed and used until the 1930s, and most people - even doctors - did not understand how infections were transmitted. Medical science was just learning about differences between viruses and bacteria. No vaccines existed, and even if they had, there was no system in place to distribute or administer them.
Itawamba County News
January 4, 1923
Influenza followed by pneumonia has resulted in the death of Mrs. W. H. Rouse, five miles north of Fulton, also her daughter Mrs. Wm. Dulaney, who recently returned from
January 11, 1923
Mr. W. H. Rouse and Mr. Wm. Dulaney were buried at Mt. Pleasant last Friday afternoon, making in all five deaths in the two families in less than a week. Four children of Mr. Dulaney survive and they have been moved to their aunt’s home – Mrs. Hood. The many friends of the two families regret very mucyh to hear of the deaths. Mr. Rouse was buried by the Masonic fraternity, he having been a faithful member of the order for many years. Bro. G. W. Gilliland made a very appropriate talk at the church