How did the 1918 flu pandemic start and could we have another one (Spoiler Alert: Yes!!!)?

Recorded just two years ago, Kristy Short’s presentation about the Spanish flu pandemic was eerily prescient.

The Spanish Flu of 1918 infected an estimated 500 million people, and killed between 20 million and 50 million people. Could it happen again? Dr Kristy Short says it could, and explains how.

Human and animal health are inexplicably linked

Dr Kristy Short (2018)

Dr Short is head of the influenza virus pathogenesis laboratory in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland. She is a UQ Development / ARC DECRA research fellow and completed a PhD in 2013 at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne. In 2013 she was also awarded an NHMRC CJ Martin Early Career Fellowship to go to the Netherlands to work in the Department of Virosciences at the Erasmus Medical Centre.

She returned to Australia at the end of 2015 to work at the University of Queensland. Her group works on many different aspects of the flu including understanding how the flu virus affects different animal species, investigating the role of the immune system in severe flu infections and the interactions between the flu and chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

Image Source: Sisters during flu pandemic (National Museum of Australia).

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