October Proclaimed ‘1918 Influenza Pandemic Awareness Month’ in Westmoreland County

Date Published: September 27, 2018

YOUNGWOOD, PA – October will be 1918 Influenza Pandemic Awareness Month in Westmoreland County in conjunction with a program at Westmoreland County Community College that will recognize the 100th anniversary of the deadly flu’s arrival in the area.

Dr. Thomas Soltis, assistant professor of sociology at Westmoreland, received the proclamation Thursday from county commissioners Gina Cerilli, Ted Kopas and Charles Anderson.

"This project has become a way for Westmoreland County residents to recognize and commemorate the impact the pandemic had on our local community," Soltis said. "This Proclamation from the commissioners is in recognition of the strength, resiliency, and courage that our local community showed in the face of this most devastating disease in human history."

The college, in association with community partners Excela Health, the Westmoreland County Historical Society, the Westmoreland Library Network, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Baltzer Meyer Historical Society will present "The 1918 Influenza Pandemic Invades Westmoreland County" throughout the month.

As many as 55 million people died during the pandemic, and an estimated 100,000 people were impacted in Westmoreland County.

The program will include speakers at the college and video presentations focusing on topics related to the pandemic, the spread of diseases and current levels of preparedness in local communities. The college was the site of a similar program in October 2017.

Admission to all events is free and open to the public. 

For more information, visit westmoreland.edu/1918pandemic

Pandemic Proclamation

Pictured: Charles Anderson, Tom Soltis, Gina Cerilli, Ted Kopas