Dreamland forever

BRITISH doctors have discovered new cases of a sleeping disease which swept the world in the 1920s but was thought - till now - to have died out equally mysteriously. Encephalitis Lethargica affected five million people and killed over a million. Thousands were left in a seemingly- permanent and bizarre twilight state.

Doctors are yet to figure out the cause of the pandemic, which was forgotten after the last cases were reported in 1928. However, now, new warnings are being issued that the disease is making a comeback and there are fears that many cases are being misdiagnosed or mistreated. Stavia Blunt, neurologist at Charing Cross Hospital, London, has recorded four cases in the last five years. In each, the patients were sent to Charing Cross by chance. At least one other doctor in London has diagnosed a similar number of cases. Blunt said, "I think there is a big chance that there are a lot of undiagnosed cases".