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 1.4 Million Hit by Flu Wave in France

PARIS (Jan. 12) -- After the Christmas storm and `` black wave'' oil
pollution on its western coast, France has been hit by a flu wave which has
made 1.4 million people consult their doctors and tens of thousands
hospitalized in the past five weeks.

This is one of the most serious flu attacks in France in 10 years, although
the number of people infected by the epidemic is much lower than the 5
million who were affected 10 years ago.

Some 861 out of 100,000 people in France have got the disease, surpassing
the official danger line which limits the number of patients to 158 in
100,000, according to Agence France-Presse.

The region of Champagne-Ardenne in the northeast was most touched by the
flu, with five percent of its population infected.

But doctors said that the virus this year, which was also found years ago
in Moscow and Sydney, does not seem to be the most ferocious.

France was most severely hit last century by two flu epidemics, one in
1918-1919 when 20 million people were killed in a flu wave in Europe, and
another in 1968, when 20,000 people were killed by a flu wave in France


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