Spanish Flu

Nursing during history's deadliest pandemic

21 September 2018 to 19 January 2020

In 1918, as WW1 approached its end, nothing could have prepared the world’s population for an even more deadly event that was about to engulf them – the devastating Spanish Flu.

Infecting up to half of the world’s population, the death toll from this lethal pandemic far outstripped that of the war, with victims suffering from often terrifying and gruesome symptoms. One of the worst was heliotrope cyanosis, with which patients turned blue and eventually drowned in their own bodily fluids.  No one was immune from this terrible infection, from Walt Disney to Lloyd George.

Visit our exhibition on the centenary of Spanish Flu to find out how the pandemic spread across the globe, the strange and often dangerous ‘treatments’ and discover how nurses – inspired by the work of Florence Nightingale - were the only thing that helped, and therefore it was typically women that bore the brunt of trying to halt this deadly killer.

Collect your own scratch card on arrival to find out… will you live or die!


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Spanish Flu blog entries from our volunteer Amber Barnes:


Blog 1: John Singer Sargent, The Interior of a Hospital Tent, 1918

Blog 2: Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait with the Spanish Flu, 1919

Blog 3: Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait after the Spanish Flu, 1919


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Spanish Flu

21 September 2018 to 19 January 2020

Free with paid museum admission

Booking Details

No booking required

Florence Nightingale Museum
2 Lambeth Palace Road