14 Facts You Never Knew About The Spanish Flu
Torquay Museum invited The Shorely over to experience the Spanish Flu; don't worry we didn't get sick, but we did learn 14 facts we never knew about the - cough, sneeze - virus at the museum’s exhibition More Deadly Than War - Spanish Flu and the Threat of Pandemic.
Entering through the hazard door sign, we're met by a collection of objects - bizarre masks and weird cures - and some mind-blowing stats about the Spanish Flu via Project Curator, Clare Howe, a fountain of knowledge, who explains the Spanish Flu infected 500 million and killed 100 million. To put that in context: the flu killed the equivalent of the UK population one and a half times and would have infected the combined populations of the United States of America, Mexico, and Canada equivalently.
Considering that the Spanish Flu is the biggest killer in human history, why is it that we seem to have displaced its memory? It often gets overshadowed because it occurred around the same time as the First World War; fighting and dying for your country in the trenches has just always attracted more attention than dying of a cough.
14 Facts About Spanish Flu
The Spanish Flu started in 1918
Ended in 1920
It killed 100 million people
And infected 500 million people
It killed more people than both World Wars combined
It’s the worst disaster that humanity has ever seen
The Spanish Flu didn’t come from Spain
The reason it’s called the Spanish Flu is due to wide coverage in the Spanish press
There was no cure for Spanish Flu
They didn’t know how to relieve the symptoms
They put kerosene on sugar cubes for the sick
They also did bloodletting
Oh and the only thing that vaguely helped was Bovril as a warm drink!
People are still investigating flu, because of its potential use for future outbreaks
Nowadays, some of the worlds most known figures are stressing the importance of being prepared for the next flu virus pandemic. Just think of the consequences of the 2014/16 Ebola virus that broke out in West-Africa. The dangers to human civilisation are still present, and Torquay Museum and Wellcome Trust hope that through this exhibition, they can fuel imaginations and spark debate.
“I rate the chance of a widespread epidemic, far worse than Ebola, in my lifetime, as well over 50%.” - Bill Gates, Microsoft Co-Founder | Source: VOX
You can visit Torquay Museum's exhibition, More Deadly Than War - Spanish Flu and the Threat of Pandemic until 24 February 2019. Normal admission fees apply. Head over to their website for more information.