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Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer

Series 1


Duration: 53 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four

Available for 2 months

This episode considers how, during a health crisis, the readiness of communities to engage with – and act upon – advice can have a significant impact on the spread of disease.

The simple act of handwashing to preserve hygiene, which began in a Viennese maternity ward and was also advocated by Florence Nightingale, saved millions of lives. Social distancing, face masks and lockdowns were used to combat the Spanish flu over 100 years ago, with varying degrees of success, while grassroots campaigning on ‘safe behaviour’ was vital in the early days of the HIV epidemic and the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.

For public bodies, getting the message right is a key factor in helping to shift behaviour and save lives. Show less

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