1918 - Facing influenza

By the beginning of 1918, Walter Reed had 950 beds, along with 25 more acres of land, as it geared up to become “one of the greatest medical institutions in the world,” as described by The Washington Post.* By the end of the year it had added another 2,500 beds, some of them in temporary buildings. Walter Reed received nearly 14,000 admissions in 1918 alone. Of these, about 1,800 stemmed from an influenza pandemic that reached its height in the fall and winter of 1918-1919.

Image: WR Flu Ward 1910sLibrary of Congress
1918 map of hospital grounds. National Museum of Health and Medicine, AFIP, WRAMC History Collection

*“Ducks Hospital Ships,” The Washington Post, 1/2/1918.