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Net quacks could be bad for your health – official

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Doctors have hit out at "cyberdocs" on the Internet, warning patients that the medical advice they receive may not be good for their health. Writing in The Lancet, doctors said there is no way to determine whether "cyberdocs" are medically qualified and called for a "cyberlicence" to be introduced. One patient was told that he was simply constipated and needed to have at least "two good bowel movements a day", while another was prescribed fresh air, rainwater and dandelions by two of the online medical services. In fact, the patients taking part in the study were describing the classic symptoms of shingles in someone with a damaged immune system. Of the 17 Web sites checked by researchers from the University of Heidelberg, seven charged for the advice and 12 diagnosed the condition incorrectly. ® Click for more stories Click for story index

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