A winter that has socked the Northeast with one storm after another is taking a physical toll on snow-weary residents.
Doctors across the region are seeing a spike in strained muscles from shoveling, broken bones from slick stairs and sidewalks, and dangerously low blood banks as fewer people venture outdoors.
Conditions are about to get more slippery in parts of New England despite a recent thaw. Forecasters say a blast of frigid air will freeze melted snow all over again Wednesday and leave a fresh coating of ice on roads and sidewalks.
At Connecticut's Hartford Hospital, two dozen people were treated in the past week alone for injuries from falling off roofs and ladders while trying to clear snow.
Emergency department director Dr. A. J. Smally calls it "an epidemic."