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Bartosz Ogórek: Quantifying Spanish Flu Mortality in the Cities of the Second Polish Republic. A Look at the Municipal Statistics. [Abstract]

Due to war turmoil, border lability, and administrative chaos accompanying the recreation of an independent Polish state, national or even regional demographic statistics that could shed some light on the spread and intensity of the influenza pandemic in Polish territory are absent. Hence, I try to scrutinize the timing and extent of Spanish flu mortality through the local statistics gathered by the municipal statistical offices (mainly Warsaw, Lviv, Krakow, and Łódź). The gathered data is modelled using Serfling Regression to estimate excess mortality and identify waves and recurrences of the flu. These results are then juxtaposed with the outcomes of similar procedures done for other countries to address the question of direction and spread of the Spanish flu across Central and Eastern Europe. The study shows a weaker impact of the Spanish flu in Polish cities than in Western and most notably Southern Europe. It also confirms that the spread of the pandemics in Poland was not linear, as it depended on the size, importance, and connectivity of the city rather than on the mere geographic location.

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