Online Program

Impact of 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic on Mortality Rates in Savannah, GA

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sara Plaspohl, DrPH, CHES, Department of Health Sciences, Armstrong State University, Savannah, GA
Betty Dixon, DrPH, RN, Department of Nursing and Clinical Services, Coastal Health District, Savannah, GA
The Spanish Influenza pandemic struck the United States in waves from September 1918 through March 1919.  This study investigates the impact of the Spanish Influenza on mortality rates in Savannah, Georgia.  Primary death records from the Chatham County Health Department were examined and analyzed for the years of 1917, 1918, and 1919.  Historical mortality rates for the Savannah area were compared to those for other parts of the United States and world, including New York City, Paris, London, and Berlin.  These data will inform Savannah public health officials about historical trends of local communicable disease mortality compared to other parts of the world, having the potential to serve as a reference when channeling future resources into epidemic prevention in Savannah.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Discuss availability and usefulness of historical primary health records at local health department. Describe impact of 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic on mortality rate in Savannah, Georgia, during that time period. Compare Savannah's 1918 mortality rate to mortality rates for other national and international cities for same time period.

Keyword(s): Public Health Infrastructure, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been active in public health activities, including teaching/education and research, for over 20 years. I have a DrPH and CHES certification, and serve as MPH program coordinator at my university. I have published and presented other research pertaining to influenza prevention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.