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If Stillman Infirmary overflows from flu victims, the Freshman Union will be used to hold extra beds as it did in the 1957 Asian flu epidemic, Dr. Dana L. Farnsworth, director of University Health Services, said yesterday.
Farnsworth could not predict whether the incidence of flu will increase from its pre-vacation level, when Stillman almost reached its capacity of about 70 beds. He referred to some authorities who claimed there will be a nationwide peak in mid-January.
"We do not plan to put everyone who has the influenza in the infirmary--only if he has a complication," Farnsworth said. "There's no way during an epidemic period to care for everyone in an infirmary or a hospital," he added.
Farnsworth said that someone with high fever and pneumonia would deserve an infirmary bed. He also cited the case of a Harvard student who was admitted to Stillman because he lived on the fourth floor of a dormitory and just before Christmas vacation there was no one to take care of him.
Stillman has a very limited supply of flu vaccine. It is being administered to only high risk cases such as to those with a history of coronary disease. The vaccine decreases one's chances of suffering the flu's effects by 50 per cent, Farnsworth estimated.
Dr. Sholem Postel, assistant director of the University Health Services, describes the flu as a mild one-week disease which would have been passed off as a bad cold if it did not get the name "Hong Kong."
"This isn't a grave illness," Postel said. "There isn't any need for panic."
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