Diarmuid Breatnach

(Reading time: One min.)

A deadly disease has struck some people in Ireland, affecting tendons in the legs, control of the tongue and causing partial amnesia. By a strange twist, some of those affected are attracted to the very site of the first outbreak of the disease.

The effect on the tendons in the legs of those affected is dramatic: they can no longer stand up straight and find themselves bending a knee or even collapsing on to both knees, the tongue protruding in bizarre licking motion.

Less visible but in many ways more striking is the amnesia effect. Those affected lose memories of parts of what they learned in school or what they themselves thought and said in the past – even in recent years.

According to Dr. P O’Neill of the Institute of Research and Adjustment, a new symptom was observed recently: “Affected people spent four hours staring vacantly at a film of some anachronistic ritual”.

Dr. T.W.Tone, who has been studying similar outbreaks in the past observed on the affinity of the disease for people of higher social classes: “No-one is guaranteed immunity but it does seem that the lower the social class, the less likely the person is to contract this disease.”

Commenting on the low recovery rate of those who contract the disease, Dr. J.Connolly pointed to the crucial importance of prevention, for which community programs of education can be very effective. “We rely especially on Volunteers,” he said, “men and women who are dedicated to preventing the spread of this disease.”


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