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Health

Lessons from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic – podcast


The world of 2020 is vastly different from 1918, the year Spanish flu began to spread around the world. By 1920, Spanish flu is thought to have claimed the lives of up to 100 million people. But, as science writer and journalist Laura Spinney notes, many of the public health measures were similar to measures governments are taking today.

Laura tells Rachel Humphreys about the different ways authorities tried to slow the spread of the disease, and the impact that had.

Laura Spinney is the author of Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World, published by Cape. To order a copy for £15 (RRP £20) go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99.

Women with face masks during the 1918 flu pandemic



Photograph: Queensland Government Handout/EPA

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