Epidemiological isolation causing variable mortality in Island populations during the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic

Shanks, G. Dennis, Hussell, Tracy and Brundage, John F. (2012) Epidemiological isolation causing variable mortality in Island populations during the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, 6 6: 417-423. doi:10.1111/j.1750-2659.2011.00332.x


Author Shanks, G. Dennis
Hussell, Tracy
Brundage, John F.
Title Epidemiological isolation causing variable mortality in Island populations during the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic
Journal name Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1750-2640
1750-2659
Publication date 2012-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1750-2659.2011.00332.x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 6
Issue 6
Start page 417
End page 423
Total pages 7
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: During the 1918 pandemic period, influenza-related mortality increased worldwide; however, mortality rates varied widely across locations and demographic subgroups. Islands are isolated epidemiological situations that may elucidate why influenza pandemic mortality rates were so variable in apparently similar populations.

Objectives: Our objectives were to determine and compare the patterns of pandemic influenza mortality on islands.

Methods: We reviewed historical records of mortality associated with the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic in various military and civilian groups on islands.

Results and Conclusions: Mortality differed more than 50-fold during pandemic-related epidemics on Pacific islands [range: 0·4% (Hawaii) to 22% (Samoa)], and on some islands, mortality sharply varied among demographic subgroups of island residents such as Saipan: Chamorros [12%] and Caroline Islanders [0·4%]. Among soldiers from island populations who had completed initial military training, influenza-related mortality rates were generally low, for example, Puerto Rico (0·7%) and French Polynesia (0·13%). The findings suggest that among island residents, those who had been exposed to multiple, antigenically diverse respiratory pathogens prior to infection with the 1918 pandemic strain (e.g., less isolated) experienced lower mortality. The continuous circulation of antigenically diverse influenza viruses and other respiratory infectious agents makes widespread high mortality during future influenza pandemics unlikely.
Keyword 1918
Mortality
Pacific islands
Pandemic influenza
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 6 January 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
Centre for Military and Veterans' Health Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 02 Dec 2012, 00:16:49 EST by System User on behalf of Centre for Australian Military & Veterans' Health