Flu :: Historical studies validate current pandemic flu planning

In 1918, U.S. cities closed theaters, restricted weddings, and staggered factory shifts so people wouldn’t spread the deadly Spanish flu.

In two separate studies, epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch of the Harvard School of Public Health and computational biologist Neil Ferguson of Imperial College in London examined why some cities, such as St. Louis, fared better than others.

They found that quickly implementing health measures and sustaining them past the peak of the pandemic drastically reduced the death toll. These historical findings help validate results from NIGMS-supported computational studies examining the spread of a future pandemic flu and the preparedness guidelines recently issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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