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Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Dec;16(12):1931-7. doi: 10.3201/eid1612.100429.

Mortality risk factors for pandemic influenza on New Zealand troop ship, 1918.

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1
Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand. jenn.summers@gmail.com

Abstract

We describe the epidemiology and risk factors for death in an outbreak of pandemic influenza on a troop ship. Mortality and descriptive data for military personnel on His Majesty's New Zealand Transport troop ship Tahiti in July 1918 were analyzed, along with archival information. Mortality risk was increased among persons 25-34 years of age. Accommodations in cabins rather than sleeping in hammocks in other areas were also associated with increased mortality risk (rate ratio 4.28, 95% confidence interval 2.69-6.81). Assignment to a particular military unit, the field artillery (probably housed in cabins), also made a significant difference (adjusted odds ratio in logistic regression 3.04, 95% confidence interval 1.59-5.82). There were no significant differences by assigned rurality (rural residence) or socioeconomic status. Results suggest that the virulent nature of the 1918 influenza strain, a crowded environment, and inadequate isolation measures contributed to the high influenza mortality rate onboard this ship.

PMID:
21122224
PMCID:
PMC3294590
DOI:
10.3201/eid1612.100429
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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