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Fatal Flu: Spanish Flu and the Threat of Pandemic

Date: 18 October 2018 - 24 February 2019

Rapidly spreading and killing millions, the so called “Spanish Flu” of 1918 was the most deadly pandemic in human history. Fatal Flu: Spanish Flu and the Threat of Pandemic, an exciting new project run by Torquay Museum and funded by Wellcome, will explore the personal stories behind this deadly virus and showcase a new and fascinating exhibition.

Striking like a lethal lottery there was no way to predict who would succumb to this killer virus. Although no one knows for sure it has been estimated that around 500 million people were infected by the Spanish Flu and up to 100 million people died.

The pandemic struck in 1918 while the world was still in the grip of the biggest war it had ever known. There was great public grief about the war, and to an extent there still is in the commemorations which are held every year. The flu is thought to have killed more people than both world wars combined but it is not remembered in the same way, possibly partially due to the private nature of grief from an illness.

Wellcome, which funds the Fatal Flu exhibition, exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. They’re a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. They support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate.

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