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Rapid response was crucial to containing the 1918 flu pandemic

to predict what would have happened if cities had changed the timing of interventions. In San Francisco, which they found to have the most effective measures, they estimate that deaths would have been 25 percent higher had city officials not implemented their interventions when they did. But had San Francisco left its controls in place continuously from September 1918 through May 1919, the analysis suggests, the city might have reduced deaths by more than 90 percent.

The fact that the early, nonpharmaceutical interventions were effective at the height of the pandemic can inform pandemic planners today, the authors of both studies say. In particular, the two studies lend weight to guidance that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released on the use of nonpharmaceutical interventions during a pandemic (http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/community/mitigation.html), which recommends precisely such a rapid early response.
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Source:NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


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