søndag 19. april 2020

In 1911, another epidemic swept through China. That time, the world came together

In 1911, a deadly epidemic spread through China and threatened to become a pandemic. Its origins appeared to be related to the trade in wild animals, but at the time no one was sure. Lockdowns, quarantine measures, the wearing of masks, travel restrictions, the mass cremation of victims, and border controls were deployed to try to lower the infection rate. Yet more than 60,000 people died in modern-day northeast China, making it one of the world's largest epidemics at the time.

When the disease was eventually brought under control, the Chinese government convened the International Plague Conference in the northern city of Shenyang -- close to the epicenter of the outbreak. In attendance were virologists, bacteriologists, epidemiologists and disease experts from many of the world's major powers -- the United States, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and France.