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NU On The 1918 Flu

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National Underwriter reported frequently in late 1918 about the efforts life insurers were making to cope with the 1918 influenza pandemic, which struck during World War I.

The flu started making its presence felt in the pages of National Underwriter early in October 1918, when the paper started carrying reports of insurance company executives who had died suddenly from influenza or influenza-related pneumonia.

Here is an item that ran in the Oct. 31, 1918, edition:

Taking Many Precautions

“Life companies, already short of help because of demands of national service, have been taking particular precautions during the influenza epidemic to protect their office forces against contagion. Some companies have had their employees watched carefully by medical directors and division heads and given instructions that anyone showing the slightest semblance of a cold must report immediately to the doctor of the company for examination. Ventilation of offices is also being given particular care.”