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Coronavirus response may draw from Spanish flu pandemic of 100 years ago

As Australian authorities battle to contain the latest coronavirus outbreak, health experts and historians have turned to the history pages for insights into how the nation reacted to a similar viral outbreak over 100 years ago.

Pneumonic influenza, or the Spanish flu, infected around 40 per cent of the population when it spread to Australia from the WWI battlefields of Western Europe in 1919.

  • Matt Bamford
  • ABC Radio Sydney and ABC News

Around 15,000 people were killed, but strict public health initiatives including quarantine camps, the compulsory wearing of face masks, and the banning of…

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