When Travel Stopped: The 1872 Equine Influenza Epizootic

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS



When Travel Stopped: The 1872 Equine Influenza Epizootic

In 1872, the economy of North America was threatened by an epizootic (animal epidemic) of equine influenza (horse flu), known as “The Great Epizootic of 1872.” The outbreak is believed to have been the most destructive recorded episode of equine influenza in history.

The virus was highly contagious among horses, spread mainly through droplets made when the animal coughs or sneezes.

In 1870, three fourths of Americans lived in rural areas (towns under 2,500 population, and farms).

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