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Protection from influenza, 1918

Protection from influenza, 1918

N518/0009

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Protection against influenza, 1918. US soldiers wearing gauze masks to protect against influenza (flu). The masks were totally ineffectual. During and after the First World War, there was a global influenza pandemic, known as the Spanish Flu (1918-1919). A fifth of the world's population was infected, and between 20 and 50 million people died. Such pandemics occur when a new infectious virus appears for which the human population has no immunity. This can happen when there is a major change in the surface proteins of an existing virus. Photographed in Seattle, USA.

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