Colds and flu

The 1918 Spanish flu epidemic

Spanish flu was a flu virus that killed approximately 500 000 people in South Africa and 20 million globally in 1918. Learn about this catastrophic 1918 epidemic and how it affected people aged from 15-38 rather than the young or old.

1918 - South Africa's death toll

South Africa was the fifth hardest hit country in the world. Almost as many South Africans died from the 1918 flu as did Americans.

1918 flu - eyewitness accounts

It is difficult for us to imagine what it must have been like in 1918, but these eyewitness accounts give us some idea.

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Flu expert

Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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