There was fear in mid-1919 that the construction of the Coolah line could be delayed by the worldwide influenza epidemic - during a cold winter when most of the workers were living in tents.
In and around Coolah 10 persons succumbed. One was Nancy Davis of Hannahs Bridge, her two sons were admitted to the Coolah hospital emergency department but survived.
Locals who died were; returned soldiers William Keain and Robert Peisley, both from the Oban Soldiers Settlement; local postal assistant Herbert Bruce; farm worker Jack George; Coolah Advocate managing editor John Henry Seabrook; and Mirrie May Holland.
A railway construction worker on the Craboon-Coolah line, Michael Loftus was another casualty. He was 32 years of age and prior to admission to hospital was considered a man of excellent physique. His father Michael Loftus was in charge of bridge construction on the line to Coolah.
A local epidemic relief organisation, with James Yule the shire clerk as its secretary, was set up in Coolah appealed for help in the way of voluntary nurses, cooks, messengers, and the like.
Requests were made for gifts of food and subscriptions to defray the cost of medical attention and for relief to needy families. A special nurse by the name of Barnes was sent from Sydney by the Department of Public Health to assist the local medico Dr Henry Patrich Blaney.
Fortunately at the time Coolah had an isolation building, constructed in 1913, and on the hospital grounds. Isolation restrictions were placed on the Coolah area by the Department of Public Health.
Masking was in force in all public buildigs, stores, workshops, shearing sheds and others. All indoor amusements and public gatherings were prohibited. The pubic school was closed.
In the area the epidemic tapered off by the end of 1919, but continued another three years with Michael Fitzpatrick dying in 1922.
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