For a handful of scientists, the swine flu hitting the southern U.S. and Mexico bears an eerie resemblance to another outbreak more than 30 years ago. Then, a strain of swine flu hit soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey, setting off panic and efforts to vaccinate 40 million people. The feared epidemic never materialized—but hundreds who received the vaccine fell seriously ill, leaving U.S. officials skittish about launching such an extensive public health effort in potential pandemics that came later. The indispensable Helen Branswell has the story.
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