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Ad Pox Cured by Branded Products
August 31, 2064
ATLANTA--Officials at the Centers for Disease Control released Wednesday a set of guidelines for the treatment of ad pox suggesting that consumption of certain popular consumer products may offer remedial treatment of some of the disease's symptoms. "Though we don't yet have a full epidemiological understanding of ad pox, we have confirmed clinically that use of the listed products offers at least temporary relief from some symptoms," explains CDC Director of Home Cures, Dr. Evan Tripe. "Since these products are already routinely used by most Americans, we have no concerns about recommending their use for treatment, even at this early stage in our research."
CDC reports indicate that as many as 1 in 7 American children between the ages of 6 and 12 are affected by the disease, while infection rates among adults have continued to climb, with as many as 1 in 12 expressing symptoms while an estimated 1 in 5 are infected. "This disease has spread with alarming rapidity," notes Dr. Tripe. "We've known about scattered cases for years, but because the condition is relatively mild and non-fatal, we couldn't justify dedicating resources to it. Now that infection rates have reached these levels, though, we're taking a serious look."
Ad pox symptoms include headache, mild nausea, and sporadic, marginal fever, but the disease is best known for its characteristic sores, blisters and rashes, commonly thought to take the form of popular advertising logos and slogans. "I've had a very itchy outbreak of hives in the shape of the AOL pyramid thing," explains one sufferer. "And I can't tell you how many weeping Nike swooshes and Coca-Cola logos I've been picking at for weeks. At one point a rash on my thigh clearly said 'You're in Good Hands.'"
Companies whose logos and slogans have been associated with ad pox uniformly deny that their products have any connection to the disease. "This looks to me like the work of a bioterrorist with an axe to grind against successful American companies," opines Gerri Cracken, McDonald's VP of Public Information. "We certainly don't want our brands associated with skin irritations of any kind. In fact, we plan to pursue trademark and copyright claims once the ad pox engineer is identified. Though, if you ask me, none of the sores I've seen really look anything like our Golden Arches."
CDC guidelines suggest consumers use branded products associated with the logos and slogans in which they break out. "It's quite a simple treatment methodology, and we have noticed significant reductions in swelling, weeping, and itchiness when it is followed," explains Dr. Tripe. "People afflicted with lesions they identify as Nike swooshes experience notable relief while wearing Nike shoes and sportswear. The same goes for other sores. In many cases relief is just a Coke and a Happy Meal away."
The origins and mechanism of the disease have yet to be understood. "The fact that the suggested treatment guidelines work suggests that ad pox may be an unprecedented disease," notes Tripe. "What symptoms caused by a conventional infectious vector could be relieved by watching TV? Well, that's what happens with the NBC Peacock rashes. How can using AOL remediate boils and blisters? This disease is a challenge to our understanding of disease itself."
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