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Mystery of the imported plagues

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 08 February 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:342
  1. Trevor Jackson (, assistant editor
  1. BMJ

    Prime minister Tony Blair may be responsible for a lot of things, but the importation of killer plagues does not sound like one of them. However, one British tabloid Sunday newspaper thinks otherwise. On 26 January the Mail on Sunday ran a story headlined “Madness of Blair's imported plagues.” This claimed that “by importing mass Third World immigration the Government has also been bringing in killer diseases—and it has tried to hide what is happening from the public …”

    After weeks of linking asylum seekers with terrorism, the British tabloids now claimed to have made a more lethal connection: between immigration and HIV infection, tuberculosis, and hepatitis. “The diseases that mass immigration is bringing to Britain will probably claim more British lives in the long run than any terrorist acts.” So, according to tabloid thinking not only are asylum seekers said to be …

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