Evil Over the Land

A deadly illness plagues the Navajo nation

A bright green sign is taped to the glass doors at the entrance to the Indian health facility in Crownpoint, New Mexico: IF YOU HAVE HAD FEVERS, CHILLS, JOINT AND MUSCLE ACHES, COUGHING OR HEADACHES, PLEASE NOTIFY THE NURSE AT THE FRONT DESK IMMEDIATELY. Inside, the waiting room of the 39-bed hospital is jam-packed: the old, the middle-aged, children and even an unattended prisoner in flimsy ankle cuffs.

What has brought them crowding together is an illness that is baffling * scientists and panicking the 175,000 residents of the 17 million-acre Navajo nation. So far, 18 people have been struck with...

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