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Understanding the 1918 flu pandemic can aid in better infectious disease response
Date:5/14/2014

n important role in the milder first wave of the pandemic, while during the severe second (fall and winter) wave, the movements of fur traders and hunters were more important. Additionally, researchers found that transmission rates were higher in harsher climates where a greater proportion of daily life is conducted indoors.

"Inadequate access to health care contributed to higher mortality rates in the regions studied," Sattenspiel said. "Our findings indicate that today's infectious disease planning should include evaluating the placement of nurses and trained health care professionals who can administer vaccines and treatment. Programs that improve housing conditions and crowding may also help reduce disease transmission. Finally, contingency plans must take into account the remoteness of an area as well as distance to population centers and health care facilities."

Sattenspiel says that lessons learned from 20th century Labrador and Alaska illustrate how important it is to take a systemic approach if health officials are to improve our response to future infectious disease pandemics in today's world.

Her study, "Cocirculating epidemics, chronic health problems, and social conditions in early 20th century Labrador and Alaska," was published in the Annals of Anthropological Practice.


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Contact: Jeff Sossamon
sossamonj@missouri.edu
573-882-3346
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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