Cinema screenings were restricted during the epidemic. Image: Picture SheffieldCinema screenings were restricted during the epidemic. Image: Picture Sheffield
Cinema screenings were restricted during the epidemic. Image: Picture Sheffield | Other 3rd Party

9 facts about how the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic affected Sheffield

The coronavirus outbreak is the biggest global health emergency since the ‘Spanish flu’ pandemic more than a century ago.

The deadly strain of influenza – which did not originate in Spain, but got its name as newspapers there reported its existence first – emerged towards the end of World War One, killing at least 50 million people around the world.

It reached Sheffield in the summer of 1918, with further waves in November that year and in early 1919.

Nationally, crowds celebrating the Armistice worsened the disease’s spread and - in an era before the NHS with a less sophisticated understanding of viruses - the public was given conflicting advice, from the sensible, such as isolating victims, to the pointless, like eating lots of porridge or keeping up regular tooth-brushing.

Here are nine facts that illustrate the impact Spanish flu had on Sheffield.

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