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Abstract

Using data from a study of the 1889-90 Russian flu in Sweden, this article describes how the application of Geographic Information System (GIS) may improve analyses and presentation of surveillance data. In 1890, immediately after the outbreak, all Swedish doctors were asked to provide information about the start and the peak of the epidemic, and the total number of cases in their region and to fill in a questionnaire on the number, sex and age of infected persons in the households they visited. General answers on the epidemic were received from 398 physicians and data on individual patients were available for more than 32,600 persons. These historic data were reanalysed with the use of GIS, in map documents and in animated video sequences, to depict the onset, the intensity and the spread of the disease over time. A stack diagram with the observations grouped into one week intervals was produced to depict the spread in one figure only. To better understand how the influenza was disseminated, Thiessen polygons were created around 70 places reported on by the doctors. Having prepared GIS layers of the population (divided into parishes), estimations could be made for all the Swedish parishes on the number of infected persons for each of the 15 weeks studied. The described models may be useful in current epidemiological investigations, as well.

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/content/10.2807/ese.13.49.19056-en
2008-12-04
2017-11-18
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/ese.13.49.19056-en
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