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In a fever of high curiosity.

Byline: Tony Pogson ,

Have you ever picked up a medical book and started imagining you've got the symptoms mentioned? I suspect we all have.

That's the good thing about the illustrated booklet 101 Illnesses You Don't Want To Get - they are mostly so nasty and mercifully often only obtainable in foreign parts that unless you have totally lost your marbles you know that you are safe.

To be honest, it has to be one of life's mysteries as to why we find such things as this book repulsively attractive, in a Dracula, zombie, mass-murder, X-film sort of way. But we do.

Michael Powell has written the book with Dr Oliver Fischer and can offer you anything from, say, angiostrongyliasis (you have to eat snails or let snails and slugs trail over your unwashed lettuce, so I should be OK) to Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (a rare condition with internal tumours).

Some of the major nasties we already know about, like anthrax, BSE, cholera, Ebola fever, hepatitis, lassa fever, legionnaires' disease, meningitis, rabies, smallpox, typhoid and yellow fever.

Many others do disgusting things to your vital organs and genitals.

Have travellers only got themselves to blame if they go braving the hazards of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Rift Valley fever or West Nile Virus?

I don't pretend to know but with this book you can satisfy your curiosity and scare yourself so much that you'll want to live in a hermetically-sealed bubble.

It does answer most of the obvious questions though, so that you'll still be able to sleep nights.

* 101 Illnesses You Don't Want To Get. Michael Powell with Dr Oliver Fischer/Cassell Illustrated. pounds 7.99
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Dec 7, 2005
Words:275
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