Thursday, 18 January 2018
The "Spanish" flu
It killed more people than the conflict of the Great War (which, according to one theory, spawned the fatal strain). A recent documentary for the World Service by Professor John Oxford chronicled its spread, the mistakes that were made but also the heroes and heroines who made the right decisions in that age before viruses were recognised. Research goes on, because lessons need to be learned about the future treatment of influenza or any epidemic resulting from a new virus. Research is not helped by the censorship of the time which affected most leading nations - except Spain, who was saddled with the misleading epithet as a result of enabling reports of the epidemic in the peninsula.