Lessons from the Spanish flu
Major events are cancelled, Restaurants, and many shops closed. The state order for social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, this strict and early intervention are truly effective and necessary to minimize the spread of a disease outbreak? Here we can learn from the Spanish flu in 1918 to 1919, about one-fifth of the world’s population infected and 50 million people killed.
Professor Dr. med. Stefan E. Pambuccian is a Cytologist at the Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois, USA. The pathologist and Deputy Chairman of the Department of pathology and laboratory medicine at Loyola University Chicago examined data from three studies dealing with the Spanish flu of 1918 to 1919, to derive possible Lessons for the current Coronavirus pandemic to derive. The results were recently presented in the “Journal of the American Society of Cytopathology”.
Disease rates could be reduced by up to 50 percent
From the data of the Spanish flu shows that cities that early, comprehensive insulation and prevention measures – such as closing schools and churches, banning of mass gatherings, mandatory mask wearing, case isolation, and disinfection and hygiene measures – lower rates of morbidity and mortality vorwiesen.
Among these cities, San Francisco, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Kansas City, for example, in the United States. Here, both the morbidity and the mortality rates could be reduced by 30 to 50 percent compared to cities that have adopted fewer restrictions. In addition, the current analysis of the data shows that in these cities, also major delays in the achievement of the mortality could be object achieved, leading to an overall lower total mortality burden.
More insulation = less mortality?
“The stricter the policy of Isolation, the lower the mortality rate,” explains Dr. Pambuccian, in a press release on the analysis. He also stressed that not everyone held in the years 1918 and 1919, the stringent measures to be appropriate or effective. “There was skepticism that these measures worked, actually,” said the pathologist. “But you have obviously made a difference.” According to estimates, around 675,000 people in the United States died from the Spanish flu. Worldwide, there were around 50 million.
You have to make concessions on the Transferability
One-to-one you could not transfer the results of that time, however, to the present time, admits Dr. Pambuccian. After all, the world was a very different place. We want to see still the effects of the first world war, the barracks were overcrowded, many people lived in poverty with “poor nutrition, poor Hygiene, Overcrowding of households and communities.” In addition, the population and the decision-makers would have been prepared on the basis of cognitive inertia and poor medical and nursing care is bad.
“Although the world is a very different place than 100 years ago, gives us the effectiveness of the during the pandemic of 1918-19 measures that were introduced in the hope that the current measures will also limit the impact of the COVID-19-pandemic,” says the Professor. (vb)
All about the Spanish flu, you know in the article: Spanish flu pandemic – history, causes, and symptoms.