Influenza virus image — FluWeb Historical Influenza Database — Spanish Flu 1918-19

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Welcome to the FluWeb Influenza Historical Resources Database, hosted by the School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Australia. The development of this database has been made possible by a research grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia.

The database provides free access to a number of rare and valuable sources of data concerning past influenza outbreaks. The sources provided here are currently being used as part of a research project into a possible influenza pandemic, also funded by the above NHMRC grant. It is hoped that the ready availability of these sources will stimulate and assist research in the area of infectious disease epidemiology, in an effort to approach the serious questions raised by the possibility of a human pandemic caused by an emergent avian influenza strain.

Much of the data will be most useful for epidemiolgical modelling, but plenty of data will be made available that may interest researchers in other fields of medicine, population science and history.

Recommended Reading

Of particular value is a British Ministry of Health publication regarding the 1918-19 influenza pandemic. The Primary Resource page provides links to an annotated list of contents, the full text of this book and further information. Data sets from this publication are also available via the search mechanisms.

Resources Available

Resources stored on the database are of two main types:
  1. Content from rare historical sources that are no longer covered by copyright. The most important data form these sources will be made fully available on-line as time permits, accompanied by commentary material to assist modellers in the selection of the most relevant data.
  2. Widely available/contemporary resources. For these sources the database will contain a full bibliographic reference with an accompanying commentary. In some cases where widely available texts contain particularly important source-data we will be seeking the cooperation of data-custodians to make the data available on-line.

Much of the material available via this site is in the public domain and may be freely used. However, it would be appreciated if any publications featuring data from this database include an acknowledgement of FluWeb as its source.

The database and the web environment are still under development, but users are welcome to explore what is available as the database grows. We welcome any feedback on the content and operation of the site. Feedback can be sent to the email address provided in the contact section.

The search pages are now active, and allow access to the database content. We strongly encourage visitors with an interest in the site to suggest other rare or valuable resources that may be appropriate to incorporate into the database, or to suggest other similar or relevant resources that could be linked to this site.

If you would like to receive an email alert when new resources are added to the database, please register on our mailing list.