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Entry type: Free drop in
Poster advertising patent remedy which claimed to cure flu and malaria.

The history of London's battle with diseases

Poster advertising patent remedy which claimed to cure flu and malaria.

One hundred years after the outbreak of the deadliest wave of ‘Spanish Flu’, an epidemic that killed at least fifty million people, Disease X looks to the future for the next unknown lethal disease, and explores the deadly epidemics of past centuries.

This year, the World Health Organisation declared an unknown pathogen (micro-organism causing disease), known as ‘Disease X’, one of the great potential risks to life and a top priority for research. The next international health crisis may be caused by something unknown to doctors and with no known cure.

Untitled Future Mutation by LukeJerram Cropped.jpg

'Untitled Future Mutation', ed. 5/5, 2018, by Luke Jerram

© Luke Jerram

Notable objects from the display include:

Smallpox infant: The skeleton of a 9 month old who died of smallpox
Queen Victoria’s mourning dress: The dress worn whilst the Queen mourned her grandson and second in line to the throne, Prince Albert Victor.
The new display uses the museum’s collections to show the effect of historic epidemics on London and how we might learn from the past, including past successes such as the eradication of smallpox and cholera.

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Event times

  • 10am
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