INTRODUCTION: An epidemic of influenza has afflicted much of the population of northern Yugoslavia.
GV General Hospital in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia
LV Ambulance through streets and into hospital (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR Patients suffering from influenza in hospital ward beds
CU Temperature chart showing sharp rise in temperature TILT UP TO patients in bed
CU Apoteka (chemist)
GV INTERIOR People queueing to buy medicine in chemist's shop
CU Boxes of tablets and cough linctus
CU Medicines on counter
GV People leaving chemist
GV People walking in snow-covered streets
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: An epidemic of influenza has afflicted much of the population of northern Yugoslavia. In some towns, such as Maribor, over 20 percent of the inhabitants have been affected by the virus.
SYNOPSIS: The epidemic was first recognised early in January. Within one week, tens of thousands of people in the most northern republic, Slovenia, were forced to sick beds. Most remained at home and although hospitals have not been overloaded, the effect on attendance in industry and at schools has been severe.
This strain is not regarded as a killer virus, but its extremely uncomfortable symptoms include high temperature and severe bowel upset.
Most victims in Yugoslavia take a visit to the pharmacy or a doctor and treat themselves. But according to the World Health Organisation, the public everywhere has become too casual about influenza. They warn that a global influenza 'pandemic' could happen at any time .In the past, outbreaks have tended to go in ten to twelve year cycles, which means a global epidemic is overdue.
The particular virus, known as A-2 or Hong Kong 'flu, is random in its choice of victims, although many tend to be the very young and the elderly.
The last serious 'pandemics' in the northern winters of 1957 and 1968, killed more than 150-thousand people. There have been five so-called 'pandemics' so far this century.