Fatal Flu: The Virus That Killed Millions - Torquay Museum Tells the Story

(Last Updated On: August 20, 2018)

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 from 17th October.

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.

Torquay Museum is now looking to find some of these personal stories of grief to include in an exhibition remembering the Spanish Flu 100 years on. If anyone knows the story of somebody who died from Spanish flu then please get in touch with Clare Howe, the Project’s Curator, clare.howe@torquaymuseum.org

If you don’t have a story but are interested in the project then there will be lots of other ways to get involved. Follow Torquay Museum on Facebook or see our website for updates.

The exhibition ‘More Deadly than War: Spanish Flu and the Threat of Pandemic’ will run from the 17th October 2018 to 24th February 2019 at Torquay Museum.

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

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