Despite its moniker, the 1918 “Spanish flu” pandemic almost certainly did not originate in Spain. The belligerents of World War I suppressed reporting on the outbreak in order to avoid harming morale, while Spain, as a neutral country, had a media free to report openly on the extent of the disease. Since most media coverage of the outbreak came from Spain, so too did its origin story. The 1918 outbreak — frequently compared to the current COVID-19 pandemic in terms of public fear and response — could have begun in China, or the United States, or northern France.
The BioWeapons Monitor 2012 contains country reports on BWC-relevant activities in eight states: Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In-country authors collected and analysed relevant information that is distributed through this publication. The authors used open sources and actively sought information from government departments, research institutions, industry, scientific societies and other entities.
The BioWeapons Monitor is an initiative of the BioWeapons Prevention Project (BWPP) to help monitor compliance with the international norm established primarily in the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).