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Monikered "The World's Biggest Killer", "The Disease" is a dangerous viral infection responsible for roughly 65% of all deaths worldwide. An estimated thirty million people are thought to be infected at any one time. To get some idea of just how big a number that is, thirty million is three times as much as ten million. The diagram below gives a more visual interpretation of this.
It is believed that if all the people carrying "The Disease" were lined up and placed on a train, this train would be so long that it would stretch all the way around the world. If this train were to travel east, it would arrive at its destination a day before it had left. Regrettably, to create a train this big would skew the balance of the Earth so heavily that the train would crash into the Sun.
edit Medical facts about "The Disease"
"The Disease" is caused by a species of virus known as Virus incurabilis. It differs from standard, wussy viruses in several ways; most notably, it is equipped with a laser cannon, with which it can attack white blood cells or rupture the skin, allowing it easy entry to the body. Virus incurablilis is also remarkable for its size; some specimens have been known to grow up to an inch in diameter.
Upon entering the body, Virus incurablilis heads directly for the nearest rich, tasty cell. With its sharp beak, it burrows inside the cell and takes over the controls in the cell's nucleus. Virus incurablilis is now effectively 'disguised' as the cell, and can drive the cell around the body undetected, like a joyrider in a police car.
Once the virus has gotten itself comfortable, it rapidly begins to multiply and the new viruses spread out to occupy other cells. In the late stages of infection, whole organs can come under the control of Virus incurabilis and have been observed to rearrange their positions within the body over a period of hours.
"The Disease" is uniquely virulent. No other disease, not even Pac Man Fever, not even "The Fungus" has succeeded in spreading quite so far through the population of the world. This is largely due to two remarkable properties of "The Disease".
- Unlike other diseases, which must be spread through a physical vector (such as making out, using a public bathroom, or sitting on an infected syringe which has been hidden in a movie theater seat by a Stranger), "The Disease" is what is known in "The Profession" as a P.T.D. - a Psychotheroetically Transmitted Disease. That is to say, like communism or hamsters, "The Disease" can be caught merely by acknowledging its existence. 
- Furthermore, "The Disease" can spontaneously develop in areas of low moral fiber. Opium dens, malt shops, drinking-parlours, comic-book stores, "gothicness" clubs and atheist churches are all likely breeding grounds for "The Disease".
In humans infected with "The Disease", several distinct stages of infection can be observed:
- In the first stage, the patient feels healthy within themselves and "The Disease" is hard to detect. The first warning sign that something might be wrong is a rash and itching around the follicles, and a sudden enjoyment of Phil Collins. This stage is possibly the longest; second-stage infection will not manifest for as much as nine years.
- In the second stage, the itching subsides and the afflicted lose their zeal for the entire oeuvre of Phil Collins except his 1986 album "Face Value". The patient feels tired and lethargic. In about 45% of cases, the patient becomes incapable of walking to the north. This stage can persist for up to three months. 
- In the third stage, the player must climb to the top of a maze of ladders and girders, all the while avoiding the barrels thrown at them and dealing with tricky conveyor belts. A bonus of 5000 points can be gained if the player has the opportunity to grab the parasol.
- In the fourth stage, the patient gains sudden and inexplicable fame as a cabaret dancer. He is described by The Guardian's Arts supplement as "a vibrant and enjoyable tour de force". This stage is likely to last for a year.
- In the fifth stage, the patient puts on a hat and tilts this at an angle described by most medical experts as "jaunty".
- In the sixth stage, the patient's friends, family and relatives visit his bedside. He waxes lyrical and philosophical about the iniquity of modern life. Recurrences of the fourth stage are likely.
- The seventh stage is death; this stage of the disease persists for a permanent period and is characterised by such symptoms as burial and rapid weight loss.
edit "The Disease" in the Third World
Thanks to modern and expensive medical technology, "The Disease" is relatively rare in the West. However, in less civilised places where they don't have Jesus but instead worship some fat guy with earrings and a beard who's probably actually Satan, "The Disease" is much more prevalent; doubtless due to the low standards of moral fiber regularly encountered. In many such areas one in five people have "The Disease".
Consequently, the governments of such godforsaken, inhospitable locales as "Paraguay", "Korea" and "Blackpool" are undergoing a rigorous campaign of disinformation, aided by donations from highly moral Western organisations. The aim is to spread a series of fundamental untruths about "The Disease" that will allow people to be confidently ignorant about the whole messy topic.
The fact-pack published by Clown Enema University's humanitarian society includes such useful tidbits as:
- Since one in five people have "The Disease", you can quickly check to see if you have it by asking four friends if any of them are infected. If none of them are, you're the one.
- Conversely, if you think about having "The Disease," you have lost and must try to contract it again elsewhere.
- If you are diagnosed with "The Disease", you can cure yourself by making love to a hamster, provided it is a virgin hamster of the same sex as yourself.
- "The Disease" is capable of passing through almost all known methods of contraception, so you might just as well not use them. However, "The Fungus" can be killed by a douche of Dr. Pepper.
- A good way to tell if a sexual partner has "The Disease" is to hold a Geiger counter over them. It's well known that "The Disease" leads to radioactivity. If you don't have a Geiger counter, you could improvise using a Bible and three feet of string.
1. It is for this reason that sex education lessons across schools regularly avoid teaching children that there is even such a thing as "The Disease".
2. This stage of infection is known to doctors as the "Quango Shakes".