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Vancouver schools and workplaces experience a sudden and noticeable decline in attendance, as a virulent influenza outbreak hits the city.
“Doctors are working long hours to battle the outbreak,” reports the Vancouver Sun, “Metropolitan Health Officer Dr. Stewart Murray said the infection is widespread and that his department is ‘watching the situation closely’.”
Though the flu outbreak has led to the absence of 1 in 10 schoolchildren, and forced between 50 and 80 City Hall employees to take sick days, Dr. Murray is careful to point out that the outbreak is only classified as “ a ‘moderately severe’ type” – nowhere near as powerful or deadly as the pandemic of 1918, where more than 900 Vancouverites lost their lives.
“He warned those who have escaped it so far to keep out of crowds, to keep dry and warm,” the paper advises. “Medical men say this type of flue lasts about a week. Victims are weakened for another week after the attack.”
Local phamacists estimate a 5% increase in demand for flu medication, with the majority of it for children.
IMAGE: A researcher tracking a “flu bug” at Vancouver General Hospital, circa 1966. Image Courtesy of the Vancouver Public Library.