Sunday 2nd February 1992   After breakfast 10:30

“The Sunday supplement has another of those ten top diseases features, Desmond.”
“What is it this time?”
“It’s the ten top infections to catch this Winter.”
“Sounds interesting!”
“For babies they have picked gastroenteritis.”
“That seems reasonable.”
“For toddlers, the number one choice is conjunctivitis.”
“Of course! You feel fine but you won’t be allowed to go to nursery. You can stay at home with Mum. Perfect!”
“In second place, they’ve got impetigo.”
My Dad wrinkled his nose up and shook his head. “Impetigo isn’t as catching as it used to be, Daphne.”
“For primary school children, they have chosen tonsillitis.”
“What about head lice? We see more head lice than tonsillitis these days.”
“They don’t really say what they mean by the top ten. I don’t think it is necessarily the most common infections. Now, for teenagers, we’ve got verrucas and glandular fever.”
“Verrucae.”
“I think you can use either term, Desmond: verrucas or verrucae.”
“It should be verrucae. It’s Latin. Anyway, I agree with their choices. Verrucae are great because you can’t go swimming.”
“I like swimming. I would hate to have verrucas.”
“This is for normal people, Daphne. Glandular fever will get you off PE for months and may help with your exam results.”
“For 16 to 25 year olds, they suggest chlamydia and gonorrhoea.”
“Chlamydia and gonorrhoea! That is hardly suitable material for a Sunday morning!”
“Don’t be such a prude, Desmond!”
“Thank you but I’ve just had my breakfast, Daphne!”
“For middle aged gentlemen and ladies, they also suggest chlamydia and gonorrhoea.”
“If they’ve caught chlamydia or gonorrhoea, they’re not gentlemen and ladies, Daphne.”
“Apparently, chlamydia and gonorrhoea are becoming more and more popular in that age group, Desmond.”
“Not in Portmere.”
“They have picked something very traditional for the elderly, Desmond.”
“What?”
“Tuberculosis. Maybe that’s because you’ll be sent to a Swiss sanatorium. I would love to go to Switzerland for a few months.”
“They don’t do that, these days, Daphne. They just give you antibiotics.”
“Then they’ve chosen pneumonia. It’s the old man’s friend.”
“Yes, it’s a good one to finish off with, Daphne, a very good one if you’re lucky enough.”

The top ten infections to catch this Winter.
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