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Researchers Shocked to Finally Find Virus That Email App Doesn't Like

Atlanta, Ga. ( -- Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control
and Symantec's Antivirus Research Center today confirmed that foot-and-mouth
disease cannot be spread by Microsoft's Outlook email application, believed to
be the first time the program has ever failed to propagate a major virus.

''Frankly, we've never heard of a virus that couldn't spread through Microsoft
Outlook, so our findings were, to say the least, unexpected,'' said Clive
Sarnow, director of the CDC's infectious disease unit.

The study was immediately hailed by British officials, who said it will save
millions of pounds and thousands of man hours. ''Up until now we have, quite
naturally, assumed that both foot-and-mouth and mad cow were spread by Microsoft
Outlook,'' said Nick Brown, Britain's Agriculture Minister.

''By eliminating it, we can focus our resources elsewhere.'' However,
researchers in the Netherlands, where foot-and-mouth has recently appeared, said
they are not yet prepared to disqualify Outlook, which has been the progenitor
of viruses such as ''I Love You,'' ''Bubble boy,'' ''Anna Kournikova,'' and
''Naked Wife,'' to name but a few.

Said Nils Overmars, director of the Molecular Virology Lab at Leiden
University: ''It's not that we don't trust the research, it's just that as
scientists, we are trained to be skeptical of any finding that flies in the face
of established knowledge. This one flies in the face like a blind drunk

Executives at Microsoft, meanwhile, were equally skeptical, insisting that
Outlook's patented Virus Transfer Protocol (VTP) has proven virtually pervious
to any virus. The company, however, will issue a free VTP patch if it turns out
the application is not vulnerable to foot-and-mouth.

Such an admission would be embarrassing for the software giant, but Symantec
virologist Ariel Kologne insisted that no one is more humiliated by the study
than she is. ''Only last week, I had a reporter ask if the foot-and-mouth virus
spreads through Microsoft Outlook, and I told him, 'Doesn't everything?''' she

''Who would've thought?''
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