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Risk factors of measles mortality in a historical population: New France, 1714-15

Ryan M Mazan, University of Western Ontario

Analyzing the measles epidemic of 1714-15 in historical Quebec poses a challenge because parish clergy did not record the cause of death. As such, there is no direct way of knowing who died from measles. However, measles is seasonal and the age at risk, time, duration and regional differences of the epidemic are known. Taking these issues into consideration, the objectives of the study are twofold. First, I estimate which individuals died from measles based on the age risk and temporal and spatial dynamics of the epidemic. Secondly, I compare these individuals to children who survived during the epidemic and a group of children under normal conditions. Using binary sequence models (i.e. probit and logit), I examine the likelihood of death in a family by demographic risk factors, sibling composition and maternal reproductive behaviour. The extent of death clustering at the parish and familial levels are also explored.

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Presented in Session 201: A historical demography of epidemics