Black Flu 1918: The story of New Zealand's worst public health disaster

Author(s): Geoffrey W. Rice

NZ History/Society

Many New Zealand families were affected by the 1918 influenza pandemic. In the space of about six weeks, over 6400 Pakeha died and an estimated 2500 Maori. That equals nearly half the total of New Zealand soldiers killed in the First World War. Yet these were civilians, dying in the first month of peace. This was New Zealand's worst-ever public health disaster. This book shows how we coped back in 1918 - the response of public health officials, how the sick were nursed, how thousands of convalescents were fed and the lessons learned that may still be useful today.


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Dr Geoffrey Rice was Professor of History at the University of Canterbury, where he lectured in European history for nearly 40 years until his retirement in 2012.

Preface 1. Understanding the 1918 Influenza pandemic 2. What part did the First World War play? 3. The flu reaches New Zealand 4. Organising support as the flu spreads 5. Caring for the sick and their families 6. Reviewing the disaster 7. Research and lessons learned Websites Further reading Index

General Fields

  • : 9781927145951
  • : Canterbury University Press
  • : Canterbury University Press
  • : January 2018
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Geoffrey W. Rice
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 614.518099309041
  • : 96
  • : HB
  • : 32 colour and 60 B&W illustrations