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Deaths Associated with Influenza Pandemic of 1918–19, Japan
  • Published Date:
    Apr 2013
  • Source:
    Emerg Infect Dis. 19(4):616-622.
Filetype[PDF-514.41 KB]


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  • Personal Authors:
  • Description:
    Current estimates of deaths from the influenza pandemic of 1918-19 in Japan are based on vital records and range from 257,000 to 481,000. The resulting crude death rate range of 0.47%-0.88% is considerably lower than parallel and conservative worldwide estimates of 1.66%-2.77%. Because the accuracy of vital registration records for early 20th century Asia is questionable, to calculate the percentage of the population who died from the pandemic, we used alternative prefecture-level population count data for Japan in combination with estimation methods for panel data that were not available to earlier demographers. Our population loss estimates of 1.97-2.02 million are appreciably higher than the standing estimates, and they yield a crude rate of population loss of 3.62%-3.71%. This rate resolves a major puzzle about the pandemic by indicating that the experience of Japan was similar to that of other parts of Asia.

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