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News This 1348 painting shows how plague devastated European cities like Florence

Black rats are also implicated in both outbreaks, which took place 800 years apart

'Traveller's tummy' may be cured by E. Coli patch

For sufferers of holiday tummy, relief may be at hand. Scientists have developed a vaccine patch that can cut the incidence of traveller's diarrhoea by 75 per cent.

MRSA: The cure

New drug undergoing human trials offers hope of breakthrough. Gel placed in the nose could beat superbug that kills 1,600 every year

Frank Kane: I still have nightmares about my son's brush with this terrifying disease

Even after 10 years,I still get the same feeling of dread when the meningitis season is near its peak, and the anniversary approaches of my infant son's suffering at the hands of this horrible disease.

Patients still at risk from MRSA despite £57m 'deep clean'

Superbug policy is useless without vital screening process – which is not due to start for another year

Tim Lott: It's a breakthrough. I can feel it in my... chromosomes, is it?

When I woke up Friday morning I was absolutely thrilled with the news on the radio. Something very, very important had happened in some laboratory somewhere. It was Dr Craig Venter, head of the research team who had been studying the thing, relaying the scoop to John Humphrys:

British tourists in legionella outbreak win damages after outbreak

A group of British holidaymakers who contracted Legionnaires' disease at a Turkish hotel have been paid thousands of pounds in compensation, their lawyer said yesterday.

Cystitis: Any prevention methods?

Cystitis is beginning to rule my life. I have had at least four attacks in the past year, and the most recent was the worst. For 24 hours, I was passing more blood than urine. I drink cranberry juice until it is coming out of my ears, and I have had a kidney and bladder scan, which did not show anything wrong. Antibiotics always solve the problem, but I usually have to endure a couple of days of agony before I can get a prescription. Is there some way of preventing cystitis? Sometimes it happens after I have sex.

Impetigo: a recurring problem?

When there was an outbreak of impetigo at their school two months ago, both of our children, aged seven and nine, got it. The younger girl was treated with antibiotic cream and got better quickly. The older boy had a worse attack, with spots on hands and face, and had to take antibiotics for a week. Since then, he has had two further attacks on his face, which have both cleared up with cream. Will he continue to get impetigo?

Lyme Disease: How can I prevent it?

We are spending our next holiday in the New Forest. We have been warned that the ticks there carry Lyme Disease. What can we do?

Sarah Sands: As the Gibbs well know, there is no such thing as a free holiday

It is insidiously corrupting to have friends richer than you

Floppy heart valve: do I need to worry?

I have recently had a Well Woman check-up and it was discovered that I have a floppy mitral heart valve. I have been told that this won't cause me any problems, apart from occasional palpitations. I also have to have antibiotics before I go to the dentist. Is this something that I was born with, or is it a sign of ageing? I am 42 and perfectly healthy otherwise.

Caudwell rings up £1.3bn from Phones4U sale

The tycoon John Caudwell yesterday netted £1.3bn from the sale of his mobile phones empire to the private equity firms Doughty Hanson and Providence Equity Partners.

Manager accused over seven deaths

An architect wept in court yesterday as a jury was told that her negligent failure to maintain an ageing air conditioning system caused the deaths of seven people in Britain's worst outbreak of legionnaires' disease.

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