Commemorating the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic | Professor Wendy Barclay

Professor Wendy Barclay
Professor Wendy Barclay

A century ago, as the First World War drew to an end, Spanish influenza brought terror to an already shell-shocked world. Industrialised warfare had caused the loss of many young lives and there must have been a sense that things couldn’t get any worse. And yet they did: a virus unlike any other in recent memory unleashed itself onto a weakened and highly mobile population, causing more than 50 million additional deaths

In the coming weeks, several media events will commemorate this devastating outbreak, and members of the Department have been involved in the documentation of the pandemic:

  • Professors Wendy Barclay and Peter Openshaw co-authored an article for Lancet Respiratory Medicine, reflecting on the events of 1918 and comparing what we know now about influenza virus disease. Read ‘The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: one hundred years of progress, but where now?‘ in full online.
  • Professor Barclay has also contributed to a BBC documentary, ‘Pandemic; more deadly than War’, which will be aired in the coming weeks on BBC1.
  • Earlier in the year, she advised the choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh, who has created a dance performance about the outbreak
  • Professor Barclay will also be an invited speaker at an event in Madrid that commemorates the Spanish influenza in the last week of September.

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