Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pandemic Study Of 1918-1919 Outbreak Provides Background And Death Rates For 14 European Countries

Date:
May 1, 2009
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Researchers have studied deaths from 14 countries in the 1918-1919 flu pandemic and have concluded that it is unlikely that the virus originated in Europe.

A French study of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, which analysed mortality rates in approximately three-quarters of the European population, has concluded that it is unlikely that the virus, often described as Spanish Flu, originated in Europe.

Published in the May issue of Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, the research shows a high degree of synchronicity in the 14 countries studied, including Spain, with the flu peaking in October to November 1918.

The study, carried out by a team from INSERM, the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research, provides invaluable background briefing for clinicians and media during the current pandemic alert.

Key facts

  • Overall deaths increased by 86 per cent in the 14 European countries studied during the 1918-1919 pandemic, with 1.98 million excess deaths recorded. When these figures were extrapolated to cover the 25 per cent of Europe not covered by the study, the figure reached 2.64 million.
  • Excess mortality rates for the individual countries covered by the INSERM analysis were: Bulgaria (102%), England and Wales (55%), Finland (33%), Sweden (74%), France (66%), Germany (73%), Italy (172%), Norway (65%), Denmark (58%), Portugal (102%), Scotland (57%), Spain (87%), Switzerland (69%) and The Netherlands (84%).
  • Figures for the worldwide death toll remain very imprecise. A first American report in 1927 suggested that the main 1918-1919 wave was responsible for 21 million deaths worldwide. A revised estimate in 1991 put the figure between 24.7 and 39.3 million and another in 2002 set the death toll at up to 100 million to take into account the lack of data in a large part of the world.
  • The authors point out that the source of the 1918 pandemic remains unclear. A recent analysis of the 1918 H1N1 genome failed to single out a particular location. Theories put forward by various researchers include Asia, a British army post in France in 1916, the USA and Spain.
  • The first reported pandemic was in 412 BC and the first attributed to influenza was in 1580. Since then 31 influenza pandemics have been reported, with the five most recent being in 1889, 1900, 1918, 1957 and 1968. The 1918 pandemic was the most deadly in modern history.

Other useful background information in the paper includes the start and finish dates of the pandemic outbreaks in the 14 countries studied, with graphs showing the peaks in each country.

Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses is the first journal to specialise exclusively on influenza and other respiratory viruses and is edited by one of the world's leading flu experts, Dr Alan Hampson. It is the official journal of the International Society for Influenza and Other
Respiratory Virus Diseases, an independent scientific professional society promoting the prevention, detection, treatment, and control of influenza and other respiratory virus diseases.




Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ansart et al. Mortality burden of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic in Europe. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, 2009; 3 (3): 99 DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-2659.2009.00080.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Pandemic Study Of 1918-1919 Outbreak Provides Background And Death Rates For 14 European Countries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430101453.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2009, May 1). Pandemic Study Of 1918-1919 Outbreak Provides Background And Death Rates For 14 European Countries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430101453.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Pandemic Study Of 1918-1919 Outbreak Provides Background And Death Rates For 14 European Countries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430101453.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins