Article ID: CBB688058877

When Early Modern Europe Caught the Flu. A Scientific Account of Pandemic Influenza in Sixteenth Century Sicily (2018)


The year 1510 marked the first recognition of pandemic influenza. The disease arrived in Sicily along trade routes from Africa and spread along the Mediterranean coasts. When a new epidemic swept over Europe in 1557, afflicting Sicily, the physician Giovan Filippo Ingrassia pursued a new approach to pandemic control. Since an influenza pandemic was a public health emergency, he conceived pandemic planning as a collaborative process between healthcare officials and the Government. He also highlighted the importance of strengthening influenza surveillance as a means for the early detection of an emerging pandemic. While the Sicilian Government had to provide for the community in terms of prevention, treatment was a physicians’ responsibility. On September 18th, 1558, Ingrassia held a public lecture introducing an innovative position as regards epidemiology and public medicine: territorial control was the answer to the chaos caused by epidemics.

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Authors & Contributors
Lina Scalisi
Souza, Christiane Maria Cruz de
MacDougall, Heather A.
Newton, Gill
Byrne, Joseph Patrick
Almeida, Maria Antónia Pires de
Medicina Historica
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Social History of Medicine
Public Understanding of Science
Cambridge University Press
I. B. Tauris
Cierre edizioni
Public health
Medicine and society
Medicine and politics
Disease and diseases
Bahia (Brazil)
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
São Paulo (Brazil)
19th century
18th century
17th century
Early modern
20th century, early
20th century

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