I noted several sources that helped determine disease values used in the simulation model (and similar models for Newfoundland communities – see work by my PhD supervisor, Lisa Sattenspiel, and our colleagues). These sources include:
Ferguson, N. M., Fraser, C., Donnelly, C. A., Ghani, A. C., & Anderson, R. M. (2004). Public health risk from the avian H5N1 influenza epidemic. Science, 304(5673), 968–969. https:// doi.org/10.1126/science.1096898
COVID-19 has shown that people with disabilities are at increased risk of severe illness and death during pandemics. Interacting biological and social factors likely contribute to these differences. For example, risks are especially high for those living in institutions.
Yet, few researchers have studied the experiences and outcomes of disabled people during past pandemics, including the 1918 influenza pandemic. As part of the webinar series of the Centre for Research on Pandemics & Society at Oslo Metropolitan University, Jessica Dimka, Ph.D., will present the main results of her Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship in her talk, “Disability, Institutionalization, and the 1918 Flu Pandemic: From Historical Records to Simulation Models.”
Key points of the talk include:
A comparison of seven Norwegian psychiatric institutes shows that although a higher percentage of staff became ill, more of the residents who did get sick died.
Parish records from Sweden suggest that people with recorded disabilities had a higher chance of death than non-disabled people, but this was more apparent for those who were also institutionalized. People with mental health conditions and intellectual disabilities had a higher chance of death than the non-disabled, while other types of disability were not statistically significant.
Rich historical records were used to develop a simulation model of a school for children with disabilities to investigate the spread of epidemics within institutions. The model will be described, and preliminary analyses will be presented. For example, the model shows that the pattern and timing of spread are different for teachers and students.
The talk will conclude with a discussion of the relevance of this work for COVID-19 and future pandemics, including areas of future research, policy implications, and the disabling effects of pandemics.
The talk will be in English, and International Sign interpretation is arranged. For general questions about the webinar including accessibility concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
I have had two talks recently accepted for presentation at future conferences!
In November, I will chair a session called “Anthropological Insights from Historical Epidemics” at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Vancouver, BC. My talk will be on theoretical issues and preliminary data from my MSCA project. Other speakers include Svenn-Erik Mamelund, Carolyn Orbann, Taylor Paskoff, Paul Hackett, Lawrence Sawchuk, and Lianne Tripp, who have a range of expertise on different historical populations and epidemics.
In March 2020, I also will be talking about my MSCA project at the European Social Science History Conference in Leiden, the Netherlands.
But before both of those, I will attend “Opening up the Archives: Disability History and Heritage Conference to Mark the Opening of the RHN Archive Service.” This short conference in London will include speakers on 19th century disability history, archive handling sessions and guided tours of the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability. I am looking forward to this opportunity for networking and training!
On June 15 at the Nordic Demographic Symposium in Reykjavik, I presented a paper recently published with Svenn-Erik Mamelund on tuberculosis as a risk factor during the 1918 pandemic. I will present this research again later this week at the European Society of Historical Demography Conference in Pécs, Hungary.
This study compared morbidity and mortality for patients and staff at two TB sanatoriums in Norway. We found that patients generally had lower rates of illness but higher case fatality rates. This study will provide an excellent comparison to future work that will look at individuals living or working in institutions such as psychiatric hospitals and special schools. In fact, our next goal is to analyze data on several asylums collected in the same source.