The flu that changed the world

Mar 18, 2020 by

Members of the Red Cross Motor Corps (women in uniform and face masks) pose for a portrait with stretchers and ambulancesIn 1918, a new strain of the influenza virus was just starting to spread around the globe. By the end of the year it had killed more people than World War I.

Often called the Spanish flu — it hit Spain hard, though it didn’t originate there — the pandemic is thought to have infected up to one-third of the world’s population and claimed more than 50 million lives.

RN and ABC Science explore exactly how it happened, what we’ve learned — and whether it’ll happen again.

This collection of stories was put together to mark the flu’s centenary in 2018. For news on the coronavirus pandemic, explore the ABC’s full coverage.

Source: ABC Radio National

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