Britain and the 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic: A Dark Epilogue by Niall Johnson

By Niall Johnson

Between August 1918 and March 1919 a flu pandemic unfold around the globe and in precisely below a 12 months forty million humans had died from the virus around the world. this can be the 1st booklet to supply a complete historical past and heavily research the British reviews in the course of that time.

The publication offers the main updated tally of the pandemic’s influence, together with the sizeable mortality, in addition to wondering the plain origins of the pandemic. A ‘total’ background, this ebook levels from the unfold of the 1918–1919 pandemic, to the fundamental biology of influenza, and the way epidemics and pandemics are attainable, to think about the demographic, social, financial and political affects of any such colossal pandemic, together with the cultural dimensions of naming, blame, metaphors, reminiscence, the media, artwork and literature.

An inter-disciplinary examine, it stretches from background and geography via to medication to be able to show the complete significance of the 1st international scientific ‘disaster’ of the 20 th century, and appears forward to attainable pandemics of the future.

Niall Johnson brings a powerful scholarly eye in this attention-grabbing and hugely proper subject making this crucial interpreting for historians and people with an curiosity in British and clinical history.

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Wide diffusion over the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Widely spread over the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Global. True pandemic. The ‘Russian’ flu. Global. Greatest pandemic. The ‘Spanish’ flu. Global pandemic. Global pandemic. ‘Asian’ flu. First indisputable pandemic of the virologic era. Global pandemic. ‘Hong Kong’ flu. Global pandemic. 1709 1729–30 1732–3 1742–3 1757–8 1761–2 1767 1775–6 1781–2 1788–90 1800–2 1815–16 1826 1830–3 1836–7 1847–8 1850–1 1857–8 1873–5 1889–92 1918–19 1946 1957 1968–70 1977 Sources: Beveridge 1977; Garrett 1996; Hirsch 1883; Kilbourne 1977; Patterson 1986.

From this body the lungs were removed, sectioned and shipped to Taubenberger. Apparently fragments of the virus have been found in these samples. Hultin named the body ‘Lucy’ in recognition of the ‘prehistoric Lucy who shed so much light on human origins’ (Larson 1998: 39). The preliminary results on the samples found in the US Army Pathology stores indicated that the 1918 strain had haemagglutinin (HA) of H1 mammalian type (not avian), neuraminidase (NA) of N1 type and nucleoprotein that generally fell into the human/swine grouping in the analyses.

3 Pandemic geographies The second decade of the twentieth century was not a good time to be a young adult – the Great War and the influenza pandemic came to end millions of lives and blight hundreds of millions more. In British (as well as French and German1) history and literature, the story of the war’s ‘lost generation’ is well-known. But another story, not as well-known, is that of the 1918–19 influenza pandemic. This is a story of as many as one billion ill and 100 million dead. The blame falls mainly on Spain In a world at war, Spain was a land of peace, adopting a neutral stance in the Great War.

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