Institute of Economics, Geography and Demography (CSIC)
The 1918-1919 pandemic influenza, the ‘Spanish’ flu, killed about 50 million people worldwide. There have been many studies of the transmissibility of the 1918 Spanish flu virus. Many analyses have involved fitting transmission models to the observed epidemic curves based on published data from cities in Europe or America. These attempts to estimate the rate of transmissibility of influenza among people have the objective of planning mitigation strategies and control of infectious diseases resulting from potential new pandemics. Quite often these estimations rely on historical published data from which parameters that model the transmission of the disease are estimated. There have been several studies in recent years that have estimated the rate at which influenza moved worldwide as an attempt to know the diffusion and speed at which an influenza epidemic can spread. Therefore, the estimation of transmissibility rate and the patterns of geographical distribution within a big urban environment are of great interest because they will allow determination of the potential diffusion of an epidemic and how that epidemic could be tackled and controlled. Therefore, the scientific goal of this project is to estimate transmissibility rates and the geographical distribution of two influenza pandemics 1889-1890 and 1918-1920 in the City of Madrid. The ESR will be able to use the Longitudinal Historical Population Register of the City of Madrid, which uses individual-level information for all the individuals who lived and died in Madrid. The ESR will be also able to use the Spatial Data Infrastructure of the City of Madrid.
The scientific goal of this project is to estimate transmissibility rates and the geographical distribution of two influenza pandemics 1889-1890 and 1918-1920 in a Big Urban environment, the City of Madrid. ESR1-CSIC will produce GIS layers on mortality estimates by borough and ward for the City of Madrid; mortality estimates by Influenza during 1889-1890; mortality estimates by Influenza during 1918-1919 and a. Geospatial analysis of influenza pandemics diffusion in urban environments.
By interacting with other researchers on the Network the ESR will learn complementary GIS and demographic methodological techniques.
The expected results are:
1.1 GIS layer on mortality estimates by borough and ward for the City of Madrid.
1.2. GIS layer on mortality estimates by influenza during 1889-1890.
1.3 GIS layer on mortality estimates by influenza during 1918-1919.
1.4 Geospatial analysis of influenza pandemics diffusion in urban environments.
Laura Cilek completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA) in 2011 with majors in Political Science and Art History and a minor in Economics. She then spent time traveling and teaching English in Korea before beginning her post-graduate education at Florida State University (Tallahassee, Florida, USA). In 2015, Laura graduated with her Master of Science in Demography after writing her thesis on the way the social and demographic composition of counties in the U.S. may affect their presidential election results. As a student at FSU, Laura also interned for the Florida Legislature’s Office of Policy Analysis (OPPAGA) and worked in the Applied Demographics Studio as a research assistant.
In 2015-2016, Laura participated in the European Doctoral School of Demography in Rostock, Germany and Rome, Italy after recieving a stipend from the Max Planck Demographic Research Center. While the coursework focused on a wide array of advanced mathematical and theoretical topics in demography, Laura’s individual research project focused on intra-European migration flows.
As a current LONGPOP Early Stage Researcher, Laura’s reserach focuses on the several waves of Spanish flu in the city of Madrid, using individual death records from 1917-1922 that contain social, demographic and spatial information about the deceased. Using this data in conjunction with information about the population structure of Madrid during this time, Laura aims to understand the way the Spanish flu pandemic manefested itself in Madrid and why it affected some social and demographic groups more than others in each wave.
Link to her ResearchGate profile here.