Medicine: Laid Low by the Flu

Americans are suffering the worst epidemic in five years

It comes in winter and is harder to dodge than a speeding snowball. This year the debilitating and sometimes deadly scourge of influenza is unusually virulent. So many people have taken to their bed with chills, aching muscles and fever that doctors are overwhelmed, offices are decimated, and some schools have temporarily shut their doors. Nearly 8,100 Americans, most of them elderly, are known to have died of flu and flu-related illnesses, and the figure is rising daily. The Centers for Disease Control has officially declared it an epidemic, the worst outbreak of flu in the U.S. in at least five...

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