Honolulu overcame the Bubonic Plague in 1900

Aloha Authentic


We are definitely living in uncertain times, however Hawai’i has been through pandemics before.

The good news is we overcame.

In late 1899, a ship arrived in Honolulu from Asia with a deceased crew member who was diagnosed with the Bubonic plague, leading to the ships quarantine. 

However, because the Bubonic plague is spread by fleas or by infected animals, such as rats, it is believed that is how the disease disembarked the ship to infiltrate Chinatown here on O’ahu. 

Fire was used to combat the plague, burning buildings in a controlled setting, which unfortunately led to an out-of-control fire that destroyed thousands of homes.

After more than 60 lives were taken due to the deadly disease, Honolulu was able to get back on its feet after the Board of Health deemed it plague-free on March 31, 1900.

Chinatown rebuilt and continues to be an anchor of Hawai’i’s cultural melting pot.

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