7 lessons from the Spanish flu pandemic

100 years on, Australian researchers describe how to avoid another deadly outbreak

It’s commonly called the Spanish flu pandemic, but it seems the deadly 1918 outbreak owes its origins to the US city made famous in the Wizard of Oz.

Australian researchers have unravelled secrets from the 1918 flu pandemic in a bid to help preparation for future pandemics.

Their review of studies shows the H1N1 virus, which infected about 500 million and killed 50 million people worldwide, originated sometime around March 1918 in military camps in Kansas.

From there it was spread across the US and to Europe by US troops who were transported to battle grounds in France.

Many victims died of a secondary bacterial infection, which has “direct and severe” implications for any future pandemic, given emerging antibiotic resistance, they write in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.

The researchers also hypothesise the higher mortality rate among young adults was the result