Say "Aaah"

Los Angeles Times, "Say 'Aaah' - Infectious Awareables

Infectious Style Is Multiplying

Boosters was just mailed a catalog, so excuse us while we finish making our selection. What will it be? A Cholera necktie? A Dental Plaque scarf-new this season? Or some Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever boxer shorts?

We're talking "Infectious Awareables," a line of silk and cotton items featuring anatomically correct patterns of bacteria and viruses. Malaria, TB, Staph, Gonorrhea, Ebola, The Plague- they're all here looking so gorgeous you want to just gather them into your arms and take them home. So to speak.

"You won't find these in malls," says Dr. Roger Freeman, president of Health Media International of Encino, the vendor: "You can't just plop a Gonorrhea tie down in the middle of a department store and expect people to get it. "

Instead, Freeman sells at health and science trade shows (they were snapping up ties at a 1998 American Public Health Assn. meeting). Scientists, he says, like "wearing" the bugs that they work on. The items are educational: Each carries facts about the disease on the back, and 4% of profits go to research or education.

What's next? Possibly the parasite Giardia-just wait till you see it, enthuses Freeman. "It's a really nasty disease, but everyone who knows Giardia says, "Oh, that's a cute bug. It just kind of smiles back at you."

Los Angeles Times, July 26, 1999
By Rosie Mestel

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