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WHO moves to contain IDS outbreak in Blackpool
9 Oct 2003 by Malcolm Drury
The World Health Organisation moved quickly today to contain an outbreak of IDS - Idea Deficiency Syndrome - in the popular seaside resort of Blackpool. Several cases of the debilitating disease have been reported at the Tory party conference there, with new cases developing by the hour.
An alert reporter covering the conference became alarmed during a keynote speech by the alleged leader of the party, "Iain" Duncan Smith, when he recognised telltale signs of IDS. He contacted local health officials, and they in turn contacted WHO officials. After a brief discussion, the latter recognised the potential seriousness of the outbreak and responded quickly in an attempt to prevent its spread, given the highly infectious nature of the disease.
Well-known medical expert Professor Douglas Ramsbottom of the University of Bootle described the symptoms to DeadBrain, noting that, while serious, IDS is not usually fatal. "But it can be highly debilitating," he said, "being characterised by the sufferer speaking at length without direction, point or meaningful content, and by having wild delusions of great things to come in the future."
"Unfortunately there is presently no known cure," he added.
The WHO's UK spokesman, Dr Roger Daltrey, told reporters that all participants at the conference have been placed under strict quarantine. They will not be able to leave the building, and they have been advised not to talk, as that generally exacerbates the symptoms and spreads the infection. A team of medical experts has been despatched to assess the situation, which may take several days or even weeks, given the seriousness of the outbreak, Dr Daltrey said.
"In the meantime," he continued, "people planning on travelling to Blackpool are advised to postpone their journey. Although bus and rail stations and other entry points are open at present, if the number of cases at the conference continues to rise, the entire resort may be closed and sealed off. No-one in the town at that point would be allowed to leave."
Several prominent members of the Tory party, including former cabinet minister Kenneth Clarke, have called for a concerted effort to find a cure and eradicate IDS once and for all.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Blair, speaking on condition of strict anonymity, told DeadBrain that the government was considering emergency legislation to keep those who have been placed under quarantine there indefinitely. "Britain must be protected at all costs," he said. "Just imagine a government consisting of people with IDS. The mind boggles!"
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