TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (CAP) - The government reissued its warning yesterday as four more children in Indiana were diagnosed with Cooties, bringing the total to 103 sick across eight states. Health experts say it's the worst outbreak in 27 years.
"We cannot emphasize enough the importance of dressing children in long sleeves and avoiding contact with the opposite sex," said Dr. Drew Coleer at the Centers for Cooties Control in Atlanta. "It is parental apathy that is causing this outbreak to remain unchecked."
The first reports of Cooties infections came to the CCC from Arlington Heights, Ill. last month and quickly spread to nearby states. Although health officials had no problem pinpointing the origin of the outbreak, Coleer said that knowledge did nothing to curb the disease.
"We know that 8-year-old Amanda Lee didn't self-immunize with a verbal Cooties shot before coming in contact with classmate Tommy Bailey," said Coleer. "And she might have been fine had her friends not told her she had Cooties. Bailey then went on to infect 11 other girls that day."
Previous outbreaks of Cooties have typically remained confined to a classroom, or at worst a school. According to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, no outbreak has ever been as widespread geographically as this one.
"We are investigating the possibility that Cooties can be contracted over the Internet," said Sebelius. "Sites like FourSquare, Instagram and Facebook add a new dimension to this battle that we've not seen before. This could be of epidemic proportions in the blink of an eye."
Sebelius is asking parents to be vigilant of their children's use of those and other community-oriented websites and to report any suspicious activity directly to her office.
- CAP News Staff