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Get ready to piss your pants in fear. It is likely that you are already infected with a lethal brain-eating herpes virus that is almost always misdiagnosed.

Herpetic Encephalitis hits thousands of US citizens a year, and virtually every patient is killed or maimed. Some are missing part of their brain, paralyzed on one side, or handicapped with memory loss that leaves them forever re-reading the same magazine. Striking at any age, the same common virus that causes cold sores, shingles, Genital Herpes and chicken pox can wander through your sinus cavities into your brain, liquefying your cerebrum and turning whole lobes into a liquid bloody mass that -- at best -- will heal into a scar that can cause lifelong seizures.

It begins innocently enough. A feverish chill followed by severe headache and confusion. The emergency room doctor may tell you your neck is not stiff and you don't have meningitis. He is right. You have something much worse. Meningitis is limited by the dural membrane that surrounds the brain -- but encephalitis is an invasive lesion that directly attacks brain tissue. Only when focal symptoms of paralysis cause doctors to recognize encephalitis will they consider giving you the one drug that could have saved your life . . . 24 hours ago. Acyclovir, a medicine given away free at heath clinics to treat the most common venereal disease -- could have frozen the virus, cutting your risk of dying from 79% to 19% -- and offering you slim 2.5% chance of surviving with your brain intact.

But you luckier than half the victims -- the unborn. Infected before or during birth by their mothers, these babies are likely to die weeks, or linger with a lifetime of disabilities, often because the mothers were never interviewed and the correct diagnosis was never considered.

Most physicians will be pumping you full of useless antibiotics -- forgetting the one life-saving drug sitting upstairs in the hospital pharmacy. After seeing late findings of hemorrhagic brain necrosis, and getting a positive PCR result from spinal fluid, your doctor may finally twig to the diagnosis. By then, you are likely to be on a ventilator, mindlessly pissing your pants for the rest of your life.

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