Something To Declare: Heathrow Express for half price; West Nile Fever in US

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The Independent Travel

Britain's most expensive railway has just become cheaper - so long as you travel in the right kind of company.

Bargain of the week: Heathrow Express for half price

Britain's most expensive railway has just become cheaper - so long as you travel in the right kind of company. Until 30 September, travellers on the link between London Paddington and Britain's busiest airport, the Heathrow Express, will be able to benefit from a "Four for Two" deal. Four adults travelling together pay a total of £26 one-way or £50 return - half the normal price.

To get this fare, you must buy it at the ticket office at Paddington or Heathrow. Children under 16 travel free on the Heathrow Express, but cannot be deployed to take advantage of the deal - ie three adults and one child do not qualify.

The Heathrow deal emulates a similar offer that is permanently available on the Gatwick Express between London Victoria and Britain's second-busiest airport. The new development for the summer on the Gatwick line is that first class passengers qualify for Fast Track treatment at the airport - just show your rail ticket and you can use the special queue-jumping lanes through security checks.

Warning of the week: West Nile Fever in US

The unpleasant flu-like illness known as West Nile Fever is beginning its summer spread across America. The US Centers for Disease Control report human cases in eight states, including 57 in Arizona, 12 in California and two in Florida. The illness is spread by mosquitoes, which become carriers when they feed on infected birds.

Only one in five people who are infected goes on to develop the illness. Those aged 50 or over are most at risk. The only prevention is to avoid being bitten, by using insect repellent and covering exposed skin, especially in the hours around dusk.

Last year there were nearly 10,000 human cases of the disease in the US, including 264 deaths. For more information, see the website www.cdc.gov.

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