Americans seem to worry about the wrong diseases:

A disease like diabetes gallops practically out of control, with estimates that 21 million Americans have it and 45 million more could develop it. Yet relatively few people worry about it or alter their behavior to postpone or possibly prevent its onset.

On the other hand, just the mention of flesh-eating disease, a staph infection that affects maybe 1,500 Americans each year, is enough to make many people anxious. And a news report on avian flu, which has yet to affect anyone in the United States, generates calls to personal physicians from patients eager to stock up on anti-flu drugs.

Americans, it seems, are always worrying about the wrong illnesses.

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