London's next epidemic?
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. Find out more about how we created Disease X.
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.
The new display uses the museum’s collections to show the effect of historic epidemics on London. It questions how we might learn from the past by looking at past successes, such as the eradication of smallpox and cholera. Notable objects from the display include the skeleton of a 9-month-old who died of smallpox and Queen Victoria’s mourning dress, worn following the death of her grandson and second in line to the throne, Prince Albert Victor.