What image does the word influenza conjure up for you? A couple of days in bed with Lemsip and some comfort reading – or a deadly pandemic that kills the young and fit?
In 1918, Spanish flu killed between three to five percent of the world’s population. A particularly nasty quirk of the virus was that it over-stimulated victims’ immune systems, making the young and healthy much more likely to die as a result of catching it.
So, what would happen if we had a similar outbreak today? What activities would you stop doing? Would you fall for quack cures? And, with a large percentage of the population feeling very vulnerable, what new crimes would spring up?
This is the starting point for my new book, The Health of Strangers. It chronicles the travails of the North Edinburgh Health Enforcement Team, who hunt for people who have missed their monthly Virus prevention health check.
When two students go missing, Mona, Bernard, and their colleagues have to tackle cults, late night raves and the mysterious involvement of overseas governments, to reach the girls before anyone else does.
Don’t get sick…
The Health of Strangers