An exploration of the effects of pandemic influenza on infant mortality in Toronto, 1917–1921

  • Stacey Hallman


This study investigates infant mortality from pandemic influenza in Toronto, Canada, from September to December 1918, through theRegistered Death Records of the Province of Ontario. A comparison of infant deaths in 1918 to surrounding years (1917–21) revealedthat although mortality rates remained relatively stable, there were changes in the mortality profile during the epidemic. Deaths frominfluenza did increase slightly, and the epidemic altered the expected sex ratio of infant deaths. Although communities may be greatly strained by an influenza epidemic, the infant mortality rate may be more representative of long-term social and environmental conditions rather than acute, intensive crises.