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 Post subject: Quarantine, isolation work in pandemic
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 8:13 pm 
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Quarantine, isolation work in pandemic
ImageUnited Press International® News. Analysis. Insight.™
Published: Aug. 8, 2007 at 2:44 PM

Quarantine, isolation work in pandemic
ANN ARBOR, Mich., Aug. 8 (UPI) -- University of Michigan medical historians and U.S. epidemiologists say social restrictions such as quarantine could save lives during a pandemic.

Researchers at the University of Michigan and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta say social restrictions allowed 43 U.S. cities to save thousands of lives during the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918-1919, when no vaccine for the disease was available.

The researchers discovered that city-to-city variation in mortality was associated with the timing, duration and combination of non-pharmaceutical interventions.

For example, closing schools and canceling public gatherings relatively early in the pandemic -- and sustaining the practices for about 10 weeks -- resulted in St. Louis having one of the largest drops in mortality while the non-pharmaceutical interventions were in force.

"In a world faced by the threat of newly emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, it is critical to determine if costly and potentially socially harsh non-pharmaceutical interventions measures can save lives and reduce the numbers of those infected," said lead author Dr. Howard Markel, director of the University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine.


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