CDC Takes On SARS
ATLANTA, April 5, 2003—Puzzled scientists have gathered in Atlanta to solve the mystery of the acute infection that has swept much of the globe in record time.
“It is critical that we understand what is happening and find an antidote fast,” Dr. Aloysius Cornwrinkle of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) told the press at a news conference on Friday. “Productivity is suffering, which will lead to severe economic repercussions if the pandemic is left unchecked.”
Dubbed severe acute rapture syndrome (SARS), the disease is particularly acute in women of all ages. Unlike its respiratory counterpart, however, this SARS has not yet caused a fatality, Cornwrinkle said.
“Symptoms—which seem to be almost universal—include a need to talk to everyone, including strangers, about a young man by the name of Clay Aiken,” he explained, adding that other signs of infection range from ever-increasing time spent on the Internet to endless replaying of videotapes and MP3 files of Aiken performing on a Fox Network television talent show. Those most seriously affected report experiencing constant sexual fantasies, according to the CDC.
Hypotheses vary widely about how SARS is spread, but all signs point back to Mr. Aiken, Cornwrinkle said.
“We’ll be checking to be sure he hasn’t been genetically engineered by unfriendly forces to wipe out the functioning brains of a large portion of the female population,” he noted, adding that other possibilities include the existence of previously unreported vocal or even visual pheromones.
“We’ve never seen anything like this,” he stressed. “Vast numbers of women have regressed back to age 12. The only saving grace, which is in itself a mystery, is that not all women are affected.”
Until more is known about the disease, the CDC is recommending that uninfected women stay away from Fox TV and Entertainment Tonight.
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