The influenza epidemic in Portugal, 1918-1919

March, 2019

Ambulance of the Portuguese Red Cross in Lisbon, 1918.  Arquivo Municipal de Lisboa

The 1918  influenza pandemic was a catastrophe on a global scale and was directly related to the Great War.  Official statistics estimates that it resulted in the deaths of 50 to 100 million, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.

According to Portuguese official statistics, 55,780 people died of the flu in 1918, but as in other countries, this number can be much higher.

 The paper Coimbra’s response to the 1918-1919 influenza epidemic, seen from the viewpoint of a local newspaper (HCSM vol.25 no.3 July/Sept. 2018) presents a  systematic analysis of the newspaper Gazeta de Coimbra revealing the urban elite’s perception of this health disaster.

Ana Maria Diamantino Correia (Universidade de Coimbra) concludes that the influenza epidemic occupied a central role in the pages of the newspaper in 1918 and 1919.  The author also points out that the newspaper reflects the dissatisfaction of the population during the epidemic, not only because of the aggressive virus but also because of the authorities’ demonstrated impotence.

Influenza in Manguinhos:
La epidemia de gripe en Uruguay, 1918-1919 – El trabajo analiza cómo se comportaron las elites médicas uruguayas ante la inminencia de una epidemia desconocida.

Maciel-Lima, Sandra Mara et al. The impact that the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic had on news reporting in the state of Paraná, BrazilHist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos, Mar 2015, vol.22, no.1, p.273-291. ISSN 0104-5970

Serrón, Víctor. Epidemia y perplejidades médicas:Uruguay, 1918-1919Hist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos, Set 2011, vol.18, no.3, p.701-722. ISSN 0104-5970

Ospina Díaz, Juan Manuel, Martínez Martín, Abel Fernando and Herrán Falla, Oscar Fernando. Impacto de la pandemia de gripa de 1918-1919 sobre el perfil de mortalidad general en Boyacá, ColombiaHist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos, Mar 2009, vol.16, no.1, p.53-81. ISSN 0104-5970

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