The Forgotten Story of Britain and the Great Flu Pandemic of 1918
Between the summer of 1918 and the spring of 1919 a deadly strain of influenza claimed the lives of 228,000 Britons. Worldwide the death toll from 'Spanish' influenza was simply unimaginable with between 50 million and 100m dead.
The victims turned blue, then black, drowning in the fluids flooding their lungs.
‘Never since the Black Death has such a plague swept over the face of the world,' commented the Times, 'and never, perhaps, has a plague been more stoically accepted.’
Based on interviews with survivors and the memoirs of doctors and nurses who lived through the outbreak, Living With Enza is the fascinating story of Britain’s ‘forgotten’ pandemic and the continuing scientific effort to unravel the mystery of its origins. For though the Great Flu has receded from public memory, the threat of pandemic influenza has not gone away. According to Britain’s Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson, a new pandemic is a matter of 'when, not if.' ‘We can’t make this pandemic go away, because it’s a natural phenomenon, it will come.’
‘A wonderful and fitting memorial to the 50 million victims of the 1918 influenza, as well as a deep exploration of human character and science’ - John Oxford, Professor of Virology, Queen Mary’s Medical School