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Institute of Evolutionary Medicine (IEM)

Historical Epidemiology: Morbidity and mortality in Switzerland, 1850-1950

Summary of Research

This strand of research unites under one umbrella smaller sub-projects on the spread of the Spanish Flu in the Canton of Bern 1918/1919, on sanitary reforms and the reduction of typhoid fever in Swiss cities 1876-1930, on hunger and its traces in the human body during World War 1, on cholera epidemics in Basel and Zürich 1850-1860, and on endemic iodine deficiency in Switzerland and its impact on health during the first half of the 20th century. The common goal of these subprojects is to learn from past experiences for modern public health.

Selected Published Articles


  • Mäxi Foundation

Weiterführende Informationen

The Spanish flu

Ongoing research on past pandemics

Please find more information about our ongoing research on past pandemics in Switzerland and their relevance in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak here.