De la influenza pandémica a la COVID-19: un siglo después, ¿se repite la historia?

Inicio>>Volumen>>Vol 26, N ° 1 enero – abril 2021>>De la influenza pandémica a la COVID-19: un siglo después, ¿se repite la historia?

De la influenza pandémica a la COVID-19: un siglo después, ¿se repite la historia?


Ana Rivera-Chavarría


Actualmente, el mundo se enfrenta a la pandemia de la COVID-19. Su magnitud es comparable a la pandemia por influenza de 1918. En la pandemia de 1918, condiciones de tipo socioeconómicas, demográficas y culturales fueron señaladas como variables que propiciaron la instauración y difusión de la infección. Para comprender la crisis actual, los investigadores de salud pública han extraído de la historia los determinantes sociales de la salud en busca de conocimientos. Al no contar con medidas farmacológicas para la prevención u otro tratamiento, se han propuesto diferentes estrategias para el control de la COVID-19, las cuales implican acciones a nivel regional, gubernamental, de comunidad e individual. El objetivo del artículo es identificar similitudes entre la última gran pandemia y la COVID 19 con respecto a las condiciones socioeconómicas, demográficas y culturales.

Palabras clave

2019-nCoV, determinantes sociales de la salud.


The world is facing the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Its magnitude is comparable to the 1918 influenza pandemic. In the 1918 pandemic, socioeconomic, demographic and cultural conditions were identified as variables that led to the establishment and spread of the infection. To understand the current crisis, public health researchers have mined history social determinants for insights. Due to the lack pharmacological measures for prevention or other treatment, different strategies to control COVID-19 have been proposed, which involve actions at the regional, government, community and individual levels. The aim of this article is to identify similarities between the last great pandemic and COVID 19 related to socioeconomic, demographic and cultural conditions.

Key words

2019-nCoV, social determinants of health.

Texto completo



Spiteri G, Fielding J, Diercke M, Campese C, Enouf V, Gaymard Aet al. First cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the WHO European Region, 24 January to 21 February 2020. Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin. 2020; 25(9):2000178.
2. Cucinotta D, Vanelli M. WHO Declares COVID-19 a Pandemic. Acta Biomed. 2020; 91(1):157-60.
3. Taubenberger JK, Morens DM. 1918 Influenza: the mother of all pandemics. Emerging infectious diseases. 2006; 12(1):15-22.
4. Islam MM. Social Determinants of Health and Related Inequalities: Confusion and Implications. Frontiers in public health. 2019;7:11.
5. Sheiham A. Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social determinants of health. A report of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) 2008. Community Dent Health. 2009; 26(1):2-3.
6. Bambra C, Riordan R, Ford J, Matthews F. The COVID-19 pandemic and health inequalities. Journal of epidemiology and community health. 2020; jech-2020-214401.
7. Petersen E, Koopmans M, Go U, Hamer DH, Petrosillo N, Castelli F et al. Comparing SARS-CoV-2 with SARS-CoV and influenza pandemics. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2020; 20: 238-244.
8. He D, Zhao S, Li Y, Cao P, Gao D, Lou Y et al. Comparing COVID-19 and the 1918–19 influenza pandemics in the United Kingdom. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2020; 98:67-70.
9. Chowell G, Viboud C. Pandemic influenza and socioeconomic disparities: Lessons from 1918 Chicago. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2016; 113(48):13557-9.
10. Burström B, Tao W. Social determinants of health and inequalities in COVID-19. European Journal of Public Health. 2020; 30(4):617-8.
11. Stewart ST, Cutler DM, Rosen AB. Forecasting the effects of obesity and smoking on U.S. life expectancy. The New England journal of medicine. 2009; 361(23):2252-60.
12. Bourne PA, Morris C, Charles CA, Eldemire-Shearer D, Kerr-Campbell MD, Crawford TV. Health literacy and health seeking behavior among older men in a middle-income nation. Patient related outcome measures. 2010; 1:39-49.
13. Aligne CA. Overcrowding and Mortality During the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. American Journal of Public Health. 2016; 106(4):642-4.
14. Emeruwa UN, Ona S, Shaman JL, Turitz A, Wright JD, Gyamfi-Bannerman C et al. Associations Between Built Environment, Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status, and SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Pregnant Women in New York City. JAMA. 2020; 324(4):390-2.
15. Byerly CR. The U.S. military and the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. Public health reports (Washington, DC : 1974). 2010; 125 Suppl 3(Suppl 3):82-91.
16. Chinazzi M, Davis J, Ajelli M, Gioannini C, Litvinova M, Merler S et al. The effect of travel restrictions on the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Science. 2020; 368:eaba9757.
17. Earnshaw VA, Quinn DM. Influenza Stigma during the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic. Journal of applied social psychology. 2013; 43(Suppl 1):E109-E14.
18. Bagcchi S. Stigma during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lancet Infectious diseases. 2020; 20(7):782.
19. Singh R, Subedi M. COVID-19 and stigma: Social discrimination towards frontline healthcare providers and COVID-19 recovered patients in Nepal. Asian journal of psychiatry. 2020; 53:102222-.
20. Brienen NCJ, Timen A, Wallinga J, van Steenbergen JE, Teunis PFM. The effect of mask use on the spread of influenza during a pandemic. Risk analysis : an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis. 2010; 30(8):1210-8.
21. Wang J, Pan L, Tang S, Ji JS, Shi X. Mask use during COVID-19: A risk adjusted strategy. Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987). 2020; 266(Pt 1):115099.
22. Feng S, Shen C, Xia N, Song W, Fan M, Cowling BJ. Rational use of face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lancet Respiratory medicine. 2020; 8(5):434-6.
23. Chu DK, Akl EA, Duda S, Solo K, Yaacoub S, Schünemann HJ et al. Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet. 2020; 395(10242):1973-87.
24. Nussbaumer-Streit B, Mayr V, Dobrescu AI, Chapman A, Persad E, Klerings I et al. Quarantine alone or in combination with other public health measures to control COVID-19: a rapid review. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2020; 4(4):Cd013574.