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1952 Outbreak Has Echoes for 2009

Edward Schecter remembers overhearing the doctors saying he was going to die.

His fever had spiked to 106 degrees. Doctors put him in a bathtub full of ice, then gave him a last-ditch antibiotic whose side effects could have killed him. Before his ordeal was over, he would lose more than 20 pounds.

It was August 1952, and Eddie Schecter, then a 6-year-old camper at the Hi-Li Jewish day camp in the Far Rockaway section of Queens, was the sickest survivor of one of New York City’s last major outbreaks of typhoid fever — an event that has haunting echoes, and useful lessons, for today’s pandemic of H1N1 swine influenza.
 
 

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