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versión On-line ISSN 1699-6011


TERAN PUENTE, José María  y  FIGUEROA, Johana. Spanish flu and other diseases in the Quito Children's Dispensary (1918-1919). Temperamentvm [online]. 2020, vol.16, e13072.  Epub 06-Jun-2022. ISSN 1699-6011.


To analyze the morbidity and mortality in the Quito Children's Dispensary attached to the San Juan de Dios Hospital during the time of the Spanish flu epidemic, its correlation with the socioeconomic context, the city's health conditions and morbidity and mortality in other locations.


With the care records kept in the Eduardo Estrella National Museum of Medicine, a medical, descriptive and analytical historiographic study of morbidity and mortality between January 1918 and April 1919 was structured. Morbidity was analyzed by pathological entities, by age groups and by their social determinants.


The Dispensary attended 8,882 infants, 4,370 girls (49.20%) and 4,460 boys (50.22%). Her age was between 1 day and 17 years. 4,598 (51.77%) children under 2 years of age. The majority, 8,735 (98.35%), came from Quito. The records with diagnosis were 8,738. In 144 cases there was no diagnosis. There were 9 deaths from diarrheal, respiratory and other infectious diseases, including one death from influenza. Pertussis, endemic in Quito, had a limited prevalence. Malaria, endemic in the valleys near Quito, presented 54 cases (0.61%) of the total. It was eradicated in the highlands in 1956. Chickenpox, other childhood eruptive diseases and intestinal parasites were less prevalent, as well as deficiency diseases. Children with the flu were primarily breastfed. Those with diarrheal illnesses more frequently received mixed feeding, which may reflect the limited sanitary conditions for food preparation.


The morbidity and mortality profiles, with prevalence of influenza and digestive and respiratory diseases, are due not only to the Spanish flu pandemic, but also to the prevailing impoverishment, socio-economic conditions and the deficit of health infrastructure. The morbidity and mortality profiles are similar to that found in 1917 in the DIHSJD and in other studies of infant morbidity and mortality in the region and in Spain.

Palabras clave : Spanish flu; Morbidity and mortality; Childrens; Hospital San Juan de Dios.

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