Rumors of a flu epidemic for this winter are highly exaggerated, according to Curtis Prout of the University Health Services. The disease prediction reported the Public Health Service should not taken too seriously, he said.
At present, doctors don't know if there going to be a flu epidemic. And, if the indirect statistical predictions for an epidemic are correct, there is still no way of telling which of the 30 different types of flu virus will attack Cambridge.
The University Health Services, in Cooperation with similar groups at Tufts, B.U. and M.I.T., has decided that there is no need to push the panic button. Flu epidemic scares come up every year and Prout has the whole scare as a "little bit of crying wolf." At any rate, the disease itself is not serious and usually for no more than four days.
Because of public pressure though, Harvard did purchase about 600 doses of a flu vaccine. This supply has already been up. But Dr. Prout promised that those who wanted the vaccination, free doses will be made available by the Health Services in a few weeks.
At last epidemic to hit the United States occurred in 1955. As it had started in the Orient, accurate predictions were possible. Doctors in the United States which strain of the flu virus to expect. This year, there are no epidemics progress and therefore all predictions based larely on statistical probability.