Spanish influenza of 1918–19: the extent and spread in South Australia
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The 1918–19 Spanish influenza was the first pandemic for which official records were compiled in South Australia. This followed the recognition of the disease as notifiable under the Public Health Act and the establishment of a surveillance system by the then South Australia Central Health Board (a precursor to the current South Australian Health Department). This is the first paper to describe the Spanish influenza epidemic for South Australia from an epidemiological and geographical perspective. Notification numbers were retrieved from the South Australian Central Health Board meeting records. Data were entered into an Excel spreadsheet and Epi™info 7 software to enable a geographical analysis. There were 8,839 influenza notifications: of these, 4,854 (55.0%) originated from metropolitan areas (Attack Rate 9.9 per 1,000 population) and 3,985 notifications (45.0%) originated from regional areas (Attack Rate 8.0 per 1,000 population). There was a lack of comprehensive epidemiological data due to the still developing surveillance system. This restrained more in-depth analysis of risk factors and geological spread.
“This article is reprinted with permission of the Australasian Epidemiological Association”