The 1918 pandemic was a primary model for current pandemic flu planning. Dr. Howard Markel, a University of Michigan health historian, said he believes the government's new grading system might have made a difference back then.
Federal health officials put out guidance then, too, but cities varied on what steps they took, said Markel.
States still have leeway, of course, and neighboring states may institute different measures in a new pandemic. But if the government comes out with clear advice, it will probably be followed more closely than it was in 1918, when governmental power was more local, he said.
"The federal government telling a local or state health board to do something was not met with warmly," he said.
AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard in Washington contributed to this report.
On the Net:
Federal pandemic info: http://www.pandemicflu.gov