Medicine: A New/Old Flu

A-l reappears in Siberia

As reports out of Moscow had it, the Soviet Union was being swept by an epidemic as devastating as any Mongol invasion. At least 40 million Soviet citizens (15% of the population) had been laid low with fever, coughing, headaches, aching bones and a lingering lethargy. By all accounts—none of them officially confirmed, of course—the ultimate ranking victim was Communist Party Chief Leonid Brezhnev. When his 71st birthday rolled around last week, Brezhnev, who rarely passes up any opportunity to accept honors or congratulations, was nowhere to...

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