An Influenza Epidemic and the Seasonality of Schizophrenic Births

  • E. Fuller Torrey
  • Ann E. Bowler
  • Robert Rawlings


The occurrence of psychosis following epidemics of influenza was noted as early as 1846 (Rorie, 1901). In the wake of the 1889–1890 influenza pandemic, Althaus (1893) reviewed 34 articles on “psychoses following influenza” which had been published in the preceding 3 years. The deadly influenza pandemic of 1918–1919 was also followed by a spate of articles, including Menninger’s (1926) review of 200 postinfluenzal psychoses admitted to a single hospital of which “one-third looked like and were labeled dementia praecox.” More recently the influenza pandemic of 1957, caused by an influenza A viral strain which was especially neurotropic, produced reports of manic and schizophrenic-like psychoses from at least six countries (Bental, 1958; Lloyd Still, 1958; Prokop, 1958; Soeiro, 1958; Loo et al., 1957; Chistovich, 1959).


Influenza Virus Trigeminal Ganglion Influenza Pandemic Herpes Simplex Encephalitis Total Birth 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Fuller Torrey
    • 1
  • Ann E. Bowler
    • 1
  • Robert Rawlings
    • 2
  1. 1.Twin Studies Unit, NIMH Neurosciences CenterSt. Elizabeths HospitalUSA
  2. 2.Division of Biometry and EpidemiologyNational Institute on Alcohol Abuse and AlcoholismRockvilleUSA

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