Pacific Islands Which Escaped the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic and Their Subsequent Mortality Experiences

Epidemiol Infect. 2013 Feb;141(2):353-6. doi: 10.1017/S0950268812000866. Epub 2012 May 8.


Very few Pacific islands escaped the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic. Subsequent influenza epidemics in the established colonial outposts of American Samoa and New Caledonia infected many but killed very few persons whereas the extraordinarily isolated Niue, Rotuma, Jaliut and Yule islands experienced high mortality influenza epidemics (>3% of population) following 1918. These dichotomous outcomes indicate that previous influenza exposure and degree of epidemiological isolation were important mortality risk factors during influenza epidemics on Pacific islands.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Influenza Pandemic, 1918-1919 / history*
  • Influenza Pandemic, 1918-1919 / mortality
  • Influenza, Human / history*
  • Influenza, Human / mortality
  • Pacific Islands / epidemiology
  • Quarantine / history*